Chad: The Ngueli [Nguéli, N’Gueli, N’gueli] massacre on 26 November 2016, including the perpetrators, their motivations and victims; treatment of massacre victims and the people who support them; the "Ngueli Victims Assistance Committee" (Comité d’assistance aux victimes de Ngueli) (2016-June 2019) [TCD106310.FE]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

1. Ngueli Massacre

Sources report that clashes between two communities, which caused at least four deaths, took place around 26 November 2016 in Ngueli in the 9th district of N’Djamena, the Chadian capital (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016). Sources describe a [translation] “massacre” (Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne 28 Nov. 2016; FACT 27 Nov. 2016; Magazine Charilogone 11 Dec. 2016) or a “killing” (Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne 28 Nov. 2016; Magazine Charilogone 11 Dec. 2016).

Sources report that the two ethnic groups that clashed during the Ngueli incidents are the Zaghawa and the Kreda (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). According to the Chadian Association for Victim Support (Association tchadienne de soutien aux victimes , ATSV) [see section 4], the groups are the Zaghawa and the Toubou [another group that, like the Kreda, is part of the Gorane ethnic group in Chad (Canada 15 Dec. 2011)] (ATSV [2017]).

1.1 Death Following a Soccer Match

Sources report that the conflict started with a quarrel between young people at the end of a soccer match in Ngueli (RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016; International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9). According to the sources, the match took place on Thursday, 24 November (RFI 27 Nov. 2016) or Friday, 25 November 2016 (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016). During the brawl, a young man reportedly fatally injured another young man (RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). Sources report that the victim was hit with a piece of brick (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016) thrown at him by his opponent (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016). According to the ATSV, the young man was stabbed (ATSV [2017]). The Tchadinfos news website reports that he died on the spot (Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016a), while Ahmat Zéidane Bichara, a Chadian journalist in exile [1], reports that he died a few hours later in a clinic (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016).

Sources report that the young man who was killed was Abakar Mahamat (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016a), that he was 16 years old and that he was from the Kreda community (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016).

1.2 House Fire

Sources report that, after the death of the young man, some members of his family went to the perpetrator’s house and set it on fire (RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). Sources report that the attackers were mostly women (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). Tchadinfos , [translation] “an apolitical and independent” Chadian news website (Tchadinfos n.d.), reports that gendarmes and police officers intervened after the incident to calm the situation down, and that they continued to monitor the neighbourhood [translation] “to deter the parties” and prevent an “intercommunal clash” (Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.3 Clash

Sources describe [translation] “mounting tension” in the neighbourhood after the fire at the house of the perpetrator who killed the young man (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). Sources report that a clash then broke out (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). According to the ATSV, this clash involved members of the perpetrator’s family and the victim’s family (ATSV [2017]). Sources report that the clash broke out during a gathering to remember the victim (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; ATSV [2017]; International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9).

Sources report that an armed man (Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b) or men arrived and started shooting at the people in attendance (ATSV [2017]; Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b). Some sources report that they shot at the people who were commemorating the victim (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; ATSV [2017]; RFI 27 Nov. 2016); other sources report that they shot indiscriminately (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016) or [translation] “at the crowd” (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b).

Sources report that the clash took place at the house of the family of the young man killed (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). In an interview with Tchadinfos , Tahir Mahamat Ouleda, a leader of one of the communities involved, stated that the clash took place [translation] “beside the Ngueli market” (Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b). Other sources place the clash [translation] “at the mortuary” (ATSV [2017]; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016c). In all cases, the sources place the clash in Ngueli (ATSV [2017]; Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b).

Most sources place the clash on Saturday, 26 November 2016 (ATSV [2017]; Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne 28 Nov. 2016; Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). Some sources report that the clash took place in the morning of that day (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b). Jeune Afrique , citing Chad’s minister of the Interior, reports that the incident took place on 25 November 2016 (Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016).

Sources report that, after the incident, three ministers and some public security officials visited the scene of the killing (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016; RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016a). Tchadinfos also reports that military members and police officers were then deployed in the neighbourhood (Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016c). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.4 Evacuations

Sources report that, as a result of the intercommunal conflict, Ngueli residents were [translation] “driven” [chased, evacuated] from their homes on 29 November 2016 (RFI 30 Nov. 2016; VOA Afrique 29 Nov. 2016). Information regarding the aftermath of the evacuations could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2. Protagonists and Context
2.1 Alleged Perpetrators

TchadConvergence , with AFP and RFI, reports that, at the soccer match, a young Zaghawa man allegedly attacked a young man [translation] “from the Kreda community” (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). The ATSV reports that a young Toubou man was the victim of the young Zaghawa man (ATSV [2017]).

Some sources also report that the armed men who shot at the crowd were [translation] [“allegedly” (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9)] Zaghawa (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; ATSV [2017]). Jeune Afrique reports that Zaghawa people attacked the people who were mourning the dead young man (Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016).

Sources report that the Zaghawa belong to the ethnic group of the president (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016) and army officers (Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016; TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). Ahmat Zéidane Bichara reports that the perpetrators [translation] “are from the family of the current Chadian president” (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016). Magazine Charilogone , a general information monthly magazine, states that, according to the Chadian Convention for the Defence of Human Rights (Convention tchadienne pour la défense des droits de l’homme , CTDDH), [translation] “the Nguéli killings” were carried out by “‘some members of the biological family of Idriss Deby’ [the Chadian president (Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016)]” who are reported to be “the regime’s henchmen” (Magazine Charilogone 11 Dec. 2016). According to the ATSV, the perpetrators allegedly [translation] “had the support of the Chadian police forces on site” (ATSV [2017]).

In November 2016, sources reported that legal proceedings were ongoing (Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016; VOA Afrique 29 Nov. 2016). According to sources, the government, through its Public Security minister, stated that it had arrested the perpetrators (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016b) and [translation] “taken charge of the matter” (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016). Sources report that people were arrested after the clash (VOA Afrique 29 Nov. 2016; Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 26 Nov. 2016a). According to Tchadinfos , the young man accused of killing another young man at the soccer match is among the people arrested (Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016). However, according to the ATSV, [translation] “the real killers are still out there” four months after the incidents (ATSV [2017]). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

2.2 Victims

According to the sources, between four and seven people reportedly died (Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016; International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; Bichara 27 Nov. 2016). Some sources report that [translation] “a number of people” (VOA Afrique 29 Nov. 2016) or “many people” (Jeune Afrique with AFP 28 Nov. 2016) were injured. Other sources report that between 10 and 26 people were injured (ATSV 2017; Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016; Bichara 27 Nov. 2016).

2.3 Motivations

A number of sources, when describing the incidents in Ngueli, refer to a clash or to [translation] “an intercommunal” conflict (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9; VOA Afrique 29 Nov. 2016; Tchadinfos 28 Nov. 2016). Jeune Afrique describes [translation] “ethnic clashes” (Jeune Afrique with AFP 18 Dec. 2016). According to TchadConvergence , the issue involved [translation] “clashes between two families against a background of community rivalries” (TchadConvergence with AFP and RFI 27 Nov. 2016).

According to Tchadinfos , which quotes Tahir Mahamat Ouled, a leader of the victim’s community, the issue is not a conflict between communities, but an incident caused by women who wanted to avenge the death of a family member (Tchadinfos 25 Nov. 2016). RFI quotes Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the Public Security minister, who similarly stated the following: [translation] “What happened is a crime, not an intercommunal conflict. The issue is tension between families” (RFI 27 Nov. 2016).

However, the same source reports that, according to the secretary general of the CTDDH, tensions between communities are [translation] “exacerbated” by the fact that the government authorizes the arming of certain groups in its circle (RFI 27 Nov. 2016). Magazine Charilogone also quotes the CTDDH and describes a [translation] “criminal policy implemented by Idriss Deby, which consists in arming his own people (the Zaghawa) and disarming the other Chadians” (Magazine Charilogone 11 Dec. 2016).

The Front for Change and Harmony in Chad (Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad , FACT) [2] describes the Ngueli incidents as a [translation] “trap set” by the regime against the citizens, which consists in [translation] “pitting communities against each other and coming in to save them” (FACT 27 Nov. 2016). The Patriots of the Chadian diaspora (Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne ) [3], according to a news release published by TchadConvergence [4], also condemns [translation] “regime tactics that consist in dividing communities and pitting them against each other” (Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne 28 Nov. 2016). Ahmat Zéidane Bichara accuses the government of wanting to [translation] “make Chadians and the international community believe that Chadian society is now compartmentalized and tiered” and to portray its actions as the solution to the problem (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016).

According to International Crisis Group, the clash is part of the [translation] “tensions between the [Chadian] state and citizens in [the states of] Kanem and [Bahr el-Ghazel, BEG]” [which includes the Kreda (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 1)], fuelled by a series of abuses perpetrated against the citizens, particularly youth, by individuals close to the inner circles of power (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9).

3. Treatment of Massacre Victims

Information regarding the treatment of massacre victims was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. International Crisis Group reports the following:

[International Crisis Group English version]

[A]fter the clashes in Ngueli, young Kreda, against the advice of their elders, asked the victims’ families to refuse the diya(a standard way of settling accounts in the Sahel [to prevent the pursuit of revenge]) proposed by the Zaghawa families. They preferred to raise money themselves to support the grieving families. Refusal of the diyais unusual, especially among the Kreda. After the attack on the convoy, young Kreda also dissuaded the victims’ families from organising a ceremony of remembrance and suggested that they refuse to accept the condolences offered by government representatives. (International Crisis Group 5 Dec. 2018, 9-10)

4. Comité d’assistance aux victimes de Ngueli

Information regarding the "Ngueli Victims Assistance Committee" (Comité d'assistance aux victimes de Ngueli ) could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

However, according to sources, an organization called the Chadian Association for Victim Support (Association tchadienne de soutien aux victims , ATSV), located in Tours, France, was created on 23 December 2016 (Societe.com 12 June 2019; Gralon.net n.d.). In 2017, the ATSV launched a [translation] “Petition Against the Massacre of Civilians in N’gueli, Chad” on Change.org (ATSV [2017]).

Corroborating information or information on the organization or the treatment of its members could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

5. Treatment of People Assisting the Ngueli Massacre Victims

Information on the treatment of people who are assisting the Ngueli massacre victims could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Notes

[1] Ahmat Zéidane Bichara, author of Journal d’un réfugié politique , is a journalist who used to work for the Chadian newspaper Le Progrès ; he had to go into exile in France after working with France 2 on a report concerning the treatment of women and children in Koranic schools in N’Djamena in 2005 (Éditions Bord de l’eau n.d.). He is the editor of Regards africains de France, a blog based in France (Bichara 27 Nov. 2016).

[2] The Front for Change and Harmony (Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad , FACT) is a politicalmilitary movement, a rebellion [translation] “opposed to President Idriss Déby Itno’s regime,” founded on 2 April 2016 (VOA Afrique with AFP 8 Apr. 2016).

[3] The Patriots of the Chadian Diaspora in France (Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne de France ) is a Chadian association based in France (Le Tchadanthropus 17 Oct. 2018).

[4] TchadConvergence is a Chadian think tank [translation] “that advocates for citizen involvement in the struggle against bad governance and poverty in Chad” (TchadConvergence n.d.).

References

Association tchadienne de soutien aux victimes (ATSV). [2017]. “Pétition contre le massacre des civils à N’gueli au Tchad .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Bichara, Ahmat Zeidane. 27 November 2016. “Faits divers - Tchad : Ngueli (frontière tchado-camerounaise) ou la barbarie acceptée .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Canada. 15 December 2011. Global Affairs Canada. “Aperçu - Tchad .” [Accessed 20 June 2019]

Éditions Bord de l’eau . N.d. “Ahmat Zéidane Bichara, Journal d’un réfugié politique .” [Accessed 17 June 2019]

Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad (FACT). 27 November 2016. Ahmat Brahim. “Massacre de Nguéli : Le FACT appelle la population tchadienne au calme et à l’unité .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Gralon.net. N.d. “Association [t]chadienne [d]e [s]outien [a]ux [v]ictimes (a.t.s.v.) .” [Accessed 20 June 2019]

International Crisis Group. 5 December 2018. Tchad : désamorcer les tensions dans la bande sahélienne . Rapport Afrique no 266. [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Jeune Afrique with Agence France-Presse (AFP). 28 November 2016. “Tchad : heurts ethniques meurtriers à N’Djamena .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Magazine Charilogone . 11 December 2016. “Tchad : la vraie face du régime sur les massacres de Miandoum, Bébedja et Nguéli .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne . 28 November 2016. “Communiqué n°012/PDTF/Novembre/2016 .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Radio France internationale (RFI). 30 November 2016. “Tchad : plusieurs habitations ‘illégales’ détruites par les autorités à Nguéli .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Radio France internationale (RFI). 27 November 2016. “Tchad : tensions meurtrières à N’Djamena .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Société.com . 12 June 2019. “Association tchadienne de soutien aux victimes .” [Accessed 20 June 2019]

Le Tchadanthropus . 17 October 2018. “Conférence-débat : Les Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne de France reçoivent Mahamat Nous Ahmed Ibedou de la CTDDH .” [Accessed 18 June 2019]

TchadConvergence with Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Radio France internationale (RFI). 27 November 2016. “Tchad : 5 morts et 18 blessés dans des affrontements communautaires à N’Djamena .” [Accessed 17 June 2019]

TchadConvergence . N.d. “À propos .” [Accessed 20 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . 28 November 2016. Moussa Nguedmbaye. “Tchad : Une enquête judiciaire est ouverte suite aux affrontements de Ngueli .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . 26 November 2016a. “Affrontements à Ngueli : 18 blessés et une trentaine d’interpellations .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . 26 November 2016b. “Tchad : dernier bilan des affrontements de Ngueli 4 morts selon le chef communautaire Mahamat Ouleda .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . 26 November 2016c. “Tchad : 5 morts à Nguéli dans un affrontement intercommunautaire .” [Accessed 11 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . 25 November 2016. “Société : La mort d’un adolescent a failli tourner à un affrontement intercommunautaire à Nguéli .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Tchadinfos . N.d. “À propos .” [Accessed 17 June 2019]

Voice of America Afrique (VOA Afrique) . 29 November 2016. André Kodmadjingar. “Des habitants d’un quartier de N’Djemena ont été déguerpis au Tchad .” [Accessed 10 June 2019]

Voice of America Afrique (VOA Afrique) with Agence France-Presse (AFP). 8 April 2016. “Le ‘FACT’ nouvelle rébellion créée dans le nord du Tchad .” [Accessed 20 June 2019]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including:Al Wihda Info; Amnesty International; BBC; ecoi.net; Factiva; Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’homme ; Freedom House; Human Rights Watch; Le Progrès; Tchadactuel ; UN – Refworld; US – Department of State.