Country Report on Terrorism 2018 - Chapter 1 - Chad

Overview: Chad continued to prioritize counterterrorism efforts despite ongoing financial woes that affected its ability to meet even basic financial commitments, such as paying police and military salaries.  Although financial hardships limited its ability to provide external counterterrorism assistance, Chad played a strong role in military operations in neighboring countries.  Chad provided approximately 2,500 combat forces to the Lake Chad Region’s Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), which also includes Benin, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria.  Chad continued to host the French government’s Operation Barkhane, France’s integrated counterterrorism mission for the Sahel region that has partnered with forces in the Sahel to degrade terrorist groups in the region. Chad continued to deploy 1,450 soldiers supporting the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Chad is a member of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.

2018 Terrorist Incidents: Boko Haram (BH) and ISIS-West Africa (ISIS-WA) both continued to operate in the area around Lake Chad, taking advantage of porous borders to move among Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria. ISIS-WA and BH-associated fighters frequently attacked Chadian military forces and villages in Lake Prefecture. No Americans or American organizations were attacked, but one Chadian USAID grantee was among 23 killed in a September attack on the northern edge of Lake Chad.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: Under the Suppression of Acts of Terrorism law (2015), penalties for terrorist offenses increased and can include capital punishment.  Some civil society organizations expressed concern that the law was overly general, and could be used to target activists and government critics to curtail freedoms of expression and association. Law enforcement leadership publicly affirmed the requirement for all law enforcement officers to respect human rights.  There were fewer reports in 2018 of arbitrary extrajudicial actions by the government or its agents.  For further information, please refer to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

The Government of Chad continued its active participation in anti-terrorism training courses in 2018, including joint border security training with Cameroon.  Chadian National Police continued to seek U.S. government training on investigations, crisis response, and border security.  The Director General of the National Police improved its performance by fostering more efficient and effective communication across bureau lines and through cooperation with the U.S. Embassy.

In cooperation with the Regional Security Office, Chad continued to screen arriving and departing travelers at international airports and other points of entry using PISCES. With the International Organization for Migration, Chad used the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) to identify refugees and internally displaced persons. The Chadian government continued to maintain a heightened level of security at border crossings to prevent infiltration by members of BH, ISIS-WA, and Central African militias, and to stem the transit of illegal arms and other contraband.  Border patrols comprised border security officials, gendarmes, police, and soldiers.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism: There were no significant changes in 2018. Chad is a member of the Task Force on Money Laundering in Central Africa (GABAC), a FATF-style regional body. Chad’s FIU, the National Agency for Financial Investigation, is a member of the Egmont Group.

Countering Violent Extremism: Most U.S. government CVE funding for Chad is programmed through USAID’s West Africa Regional Mission in Accra, Ghana.  These activities expanded access to information, strengthened engagement, and increased dialogue to combat violent extremism. U.S. government programs continued to amplify locally prominent moderate voices through support to community radio stations and training for religious leaders in human rights, tolerance, conflict prevention, and critical thinking.  Additional CVE funding from the Department of State complemented these efforts to strengthen the broadcast capacity of community radio stations and improve civics education through the re-editing of a civics textbook. Four defectors from BH who surrendered to Chadian authorities reported that radio broadcasts describing lenient government policies were a contributing factor to their return. USAID Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) projects worked to build trust between individuals, communities, and government in the Lake Chad Region. The region is strikingly under-served by all levels of governance and is the only part of Chad where BH is present.

International and Regional Cooperation: Chad is an active member of the TSCTP and the G-5 Sahel Joint Force, which also includes Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. It maintains some 1,400 personnel in MINUSMA. As a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Chad participated in efforts to develop the MNJTF. Chad also cooperated actively with Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria in operations to counter the threat of BH and ISIS-WA on its borders.