The State Department web site below is a permanent electronic archive of information released prior to January 20, 2001.  Please see for material released since President George W. Bush took office on that date.  This site is not updated so external links may no longer function.  Contact us with any questions about finding information.

NOTE: External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein.

Department Seal




A Transitional Government headed by President Idriss Deby, who 
took power in a December 1990 coup, continues to govern Chad.  
A 1993 Sovereign National Conference confirmed Deby as Chief of 
State for the transition, established the Transitional 
Government now headed by Prime Minister Kassire Coumakoye, 
elected 57 counselors to the quasi-legislative Higher 
Transitional Council (CST), and adopted the Transitional 
Charter as an interim constitutional document.  The Charter 
provided for a 1-year period of transition to establish a 
Constitution and hold elections, with the possibility of a 
one-time extension.  Little having been achieved in the first 
year of the transition, the CST voted to extend the transition 
for a second year, through April 9, 1995, and established 
target dates for a constitutional referendum and presidential 
and legislative elections.  Under the Charter, there is no 
provision for further extension of the transition.

Security forces composed of the army, the gendarmerie, and 
police, are responsible for internal security.  President Deby 
remained in control of the security forces, which were 
responsible for serious human rights abuses, including acts of 
reprisal against the civilian population.

Chad has a population of 6.3 million and an estimated annual 
per capita income of $180.  Over 78 percent of the population 
is engaged in subsistence agriculture, fishing, and stock 
raising.  The Government relies heavily on external financial 
assistance.  Pervasive corruption at all levels and a heavy 
black market trade severely limited government customs 
receipts, discouraged local production and marketing, and 
restricted the cash economy.  Little was done to reform the 
collection of customs duties, the major source of government 

Killings by security forces and the Government's failure to 
prosecute those responsible continued to be the major human 
rights abuses.  Army units continued acts of reprisal against 
the civilian population, yet enjoyed de facto immunity from 
prosecution.  Security force personnel continue to physically 
abuse detainees.  There were credible reports that at least one 
prisoner had been beaten to the point of unconsciousness by 
personnel acting under the authority of the Presidency.  The 
criminal justice system remained largely nonfunctional.  Nine 
persons who were arrested in October 1993 for allegedly 
plotting a coup were never brought to trial.  They were held at 
a jail in the presidential compound, possibly with other
political detainees, then granted amnesty by President Deby on 
December 1.

Prison conditions were appalling, both at the main prison in 
the capital and elsewhere.  Because of the breakdown of the 
criminal justice system, persons arrested for crimes had little 
hope of a prompt trial.  Additional human rights abuses 
included:  abuse of civilians' rights in conflict situations; 
discrimination and mistreatment of women and children; and the 
inability of citizens to change their government.

The Government did not interfere with freedom of expression.  
The state-run radio broadcast statements by opposition leaders, 
and an opposition press with limited circulation criticized the 
Government's actions.  Labor unions operated freely.


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

The armed forces continued to commit extrajudicial killings 
with impunity in reprisals against civilians accused of 
complicity with rebels.  Rebel groups were likewise responsible 
for killings and other serious human rights abuses.

On January 23, personnel belonging to the National Front of 
Chad (FNT), a rebel group which had earlier come over to the 
government side, rebelled against government forces and 
attempted to take control of Abeche, the principal city in 
eastern Chad.  FNT members attacked army and gendarmerie 
headquarters, singling out members of certain ethnic groups.  
The FNT rebels beat the mainly northern troops savagely, 
allowing southerners to leave.  The revolt ended within a few 
hours, and the FNT rebels fled into the countryside.  In the 
following days and weeks, the army carried out unrestrained 
reprisals against the local population in Abeche and 
surrounding villages, accusing the population of complicity 
with the FNT.  Army personnel engaged in the killing of unarmed 
civilians, looting, and rape.  Subsequent thorough 
investigations by human rights organizations and a committee of 
the Transitional Parliament counted 201 dead, of which 124 were 
FNT, presumably combatants.  This total is probably low; 
survivors were traumatized and often reluctant to talk freely 
to investigators.  The Government took no action to punish the 
army personnel responsible for the killings of noncombatants.

On November 20, the criminal court meeting in Abeche handed 
down a verdict against nine persons involved in the August 4, 
1993, massacre at the village of Gniguilim.  In that attack, 82 
persons were killed and 105 wounded by men armed with automatic 
weapons, following an ethnic quarrel.  The court, in its first 
session in Abeche since 1987, handed down death sentences 
against five persons, four in absentia, and sentenced the 
remaining defendants to 12 years in prison.

In the south, both government troops and rebels continued to 
terrorize the local population.  One southern rebel group, the 
National Re-Awakening Committee for Peace and Democracy 
(CSNPD), led by former Lieutenant Moise Kette, negotiated an 
agreement with the Government in which the CSNPD agreed to lay 
down arms and operate as a legal political party.

On June 26, a southern rebel group probably associated with 
Lieutenant Moise Kette attacked the market town of Ba-Illi, 
which had no military garrison of any significance.  Troops 
attacked and killed 24 people and looted the market.  All the 
victims but one were Muslims, targeted because of their 

On August 11 near Moundou in southern Chad, a patrol of the 
army's first regiment sustained several casualties in a clash 
with rebels.  The unit subsequently returned to the village of 
Mbalkabra and killed at least 31 villagers suspected of 
complicity with the rebels.  Army personnel burned several 
villages and tortured a local official.  Although a ministerial 
delegation sent by the President established the facts, and 
authorities subsequently arrested officers reportedly 
responsible for the massacre, the Government did not 
acknowledge responsibility for the massacre.  Moreover, its 
only public statement about the incident remains a denial by 
the Minister of Defense that it took place.  The public 
prosecutor's office began an investigation of the charges, but 
by year's end no trial had been held.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of disappearances.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

Although the Transitional Charter specifically prohibits 
torture and degrading or humiliating treatment, the Government 
failed to stop incidents of brutality by security forces.  In 
one case, there is a credible report that either the Republican 
Guards or the domestic intelligence service (Renseignements 
Generaux) used violence in interrogating a prisoner, causing 
him to become disoriented and lose consciousness.  That 
prisoner, and others, suffered cruel mistreatment in 
extrajudicial custody at a prison in the presidency compound 
and at other places.  One political detainee reported that he 
had been held in a "small, dark, nasty room filled with rats 
and insects," that he was given only water and a sandwich every 
3 days, and that his hands were kept bound with wire for some 
45 days.  He reported that, at some sites, he smelled what he 
guessed to be "dead human bodies," and that a fellow prisoner 
suffered a paralyzed hand and hearing injury to both ears to 
the point of near deafness, indicating his possible torture.

Reports of abuse in custody arose in connection with nine 
persons detained in the alleged Koty coup plot.  Their families 
and lawyers were denied access to these detainees.  Human 
rights groups and doctors were permitted visits, but the Koty 9 
have reported to the Chadian League of Human Rights (LTDH) that 
2 weeks prior to their May 14 interview some 19 persons were 
allegedly tortured overnight at the facility where they were 
held, then taken elsewhere.

Prison conditions continued to be appalling and life-
threatening, characterized by overcrowding, poor sanitation, 
lack of medical facilities, inadequate food, and mixing of male 
and female prisoners.  In March and April, the International 
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) made its first visits to 
places of detention linked to the Ministry of Justice, the 
National Police in N'Djamena and Abeche.  Later on, the ICRC 
obtained authorization to process a second round of visits in 
places of detention already visited, as well as ones linked to 
the Ministry of Justice and the National Police at Moundou and 
Duba, and finally the ones run by the Ministry of Defense in 
N'Djamena, Abeche and Moundou, and Doba.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

The Penal Code and the Transitional Charter provide formal 
safeguards against arbitrary arrest, but in practice the 
authorities often do not respect these provisions.  Military 
and security organizations retained and used the de facto 
authority to arrest or detain citizens without a warrant and 
without remanding the detainee for a trial.

Security forces reportedly engage in extrajudicial arrests and 
detentions.  One detainee reported from personal observation 
that as many as 30 persons were held by the domestic 
intelligence service near the presidency.

On July 15, soldiers abducted Mahamat Koty, brother of 
President Deby's assassinated rival Colonel Abbas Koty, and Dr. 
Abdelaziz Kadouk of the Maternity Hospital in connection with 
the alleged coup plot of October 1993.  On October 22, police 
conducted Dr. Kadouk to the Central Hospital with heart 
problems, where Chadian human rights organizations had access 
to him.  Police never charged either Koty or Kadouk, and these 
2 were among 11 political detainees granted amnesty by 
President Deby on December 1 and subsequently released.

The Government did not use exile as a political weapon.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Breakdown of the criminal justice system rendered the courts 
generally inoperable.  Special courts were inactive, as were 
courts-martial.  Most rural areas do not have access to formal 
judicial institutions and rely on traditional courts presided 
over by village chiefs and chefs de canton or sultans in most 
civil cases.  Citizens may appeal their decisions, which in 
most cases are respected by the population, to a formal court.

Trials in civil cases continued, but the criminal justice 
system tried only one major case in 1994.  Despite emphasis on 
reform of the justice system at the 1993 National Conference, 
the Government did not implement any reforms.  Government and 
military interference contributed to the breakdown of the 
judicial system, and members of the security and armed forces 
continued to have de facto immunity from prosecution.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

The Transitional Charter provides for citizens' rights to 
privacy of home and correspondence, freedom from arbitrary 
arrest and search, and liberties of association.  The Penal 
Code further stipulates that police may search homes only 
during daylight hours and only with a legal warrant.  In 
practice, security forces conducted searches without legal 
warrant, day and night.  In some cases, they mistreated and 
extorted money from their victims.

The Government also engaged in telephone surveillance of its 
citizens without judicial supervision.

     g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian 
         Law in Internal Conflicts

Continuing conflict between rebel groups and the army led to 
serious human rights abuses by both sides, victimizing the 
civilian population.  Chadian armed forces, with impunity, 
routinely abused the rights of the civilian population.  In 
addition, customs personnel routinely used excessive and 
sometimes lethal force against the population, including one 
shooting in the N'Djamena market in October which led to a 
sympathy strike by all merchants.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of speech and 
press, but in practice the Government controls access to radio, 
the most important medium, and to the sole television station,  
TVT, which it also runs.  Although opposition statements are 
generally broadcast on both radio and television, opposition 
politicians complained that in some instances their 
declarations were not broadcast on government radio.  The 
independent press publishes articles openly criticizing the 
Government and political figures.  Opposition tracts are 
distributed without interference by the Government.

The academic system is primarily state supported.  Academic 
freedom is respected.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of association 
and assembly, and in general these rights were respected.

Authorities routinely granted permits for political and 
nongovernmental organization (NGO) meetings, and the Government 
generally did not interfere in meetings or press conferences.  
In one case, however, a former prime minister's party was 
denied the use of a government facility.  The Minister of 
Interior barred human rights groups from presenting a series of 
preelection seminars in Sarh, Moundou, and other major 
population centers, despite the fact that the Prime Minister 
had authorized the seminars.  On December 23, the Minister of 
Interior prevented a meeting of opposition parties, despite the 
signing by the President a few days earlier of a law 
guaranteeing political parties the right to meet freely.

There are now about 50 authorized political parties and several 
hundred NGO's.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Chad is a secular state, and all faiths worship without 
government constraint.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

The Government did not require special permission for travel 
within most areas of the country.  Security forces, rebels and 
armed criminals continued to operate illegal roadblocks in the 
countryside, in contravention of the orders of the Transitional 

Chadians were free to emigrate.  About 3,600 refugees remained 
in Niger, a consequence of the mid-1992 fighting between 
government forces and rebels in the Lake Chad region.  
Approximately 21,000 refugees who fled after their villages 
were attacked by the Republican Guard in early 1993 remained in 
the Central African Republic.  There are about 43,000 Chadian 
refugees in Cameroon, the majority of whom fled when Hissein 
Habre took power in 1982.  These refugees are free to 
repatriate but have chosen not to do so, fearful of unsafe 
security conditions in their home regions.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Citizens do not have this right.  By definition, the regime 
government is a transitional one, with the limited mandate to 
rule in accordance with the Transitional Charter.  President 
Deby pledged free and fair elections before the end of the 
transition in April 1995, but there was little progress in 1994 
in creating the conditions for free and fair elections, making 
it unlikely that this goal can be met.  The CST adopted a law 
creating an electoral commission which was signed by President 
Deby in December, but opposition parties are still negotiating 
with the Government over conditions for their participation in 
the commission.

Although the law grants women political equality and 
protection, women are underrepresented in the Government.  
While women were active in the National Conference, cultural 
biases prevent their full integration into political life.  
There is only one female cabinet member, and only 4 of the 57 
members of the Transitional Parliament are women.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

A number of human rights organizations including the Chadian 
Human Rights League continued to operate.  These groups 
published reports of human rights abuses without government 
constraint.  The Transitional Parliament (CST) commissioned a 
special investigation and report on the January massacres at 
Abeche.  The CST also denounced human rights abuses by security 
personnel in gathering fees from citizens, but its oversight of 
government conduct did not lead to effective action to punish 
those responsible.

The United Nations Human Rights Commission's Special Rapporteur 
for Chad, Mrs. M'Bam Diarra N'Doure, President of the Human 
Rights League of Mali, investigated human rights conditions in 
November.  The ICRC visited Chad regularly and was allowed 
access to prisons.  An international organization, the 
Association for Victims of Repression in Exile has been active 
in the rehabilitation of victims of torture.  A delegation of 
the International Human Rights Federation visited in October 
and met with President Deby.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

The Transitional Charter provides for equal rights for all 
citizens, regardless of sex, race, religion, or origin.  In 
practice, however, women experience significant job 
discrimination and spousal abuse.


Although the Transitional Charter provides that women have 
equal rights with men, culture and tradition among various 
ethnic groups perpetuate the de facto subordinate status of 
women, especially in rural areas where women do much of the 
heavy farm labor and have little opportunity for education or 
wage employment.  Women receive one-third of the education of 
men.  The law does not discriminate against women in property 
and inheritance rights, but traditional practice favors men.

Several women hold high positions in the Government as well as 
in commerce and the professions.  There are many women's 
advocacy groups, such as the Association of Women in Distress 
in Chad and the Association of Women Jurists.

Domestic violence against women, including wife beating, is 
common, and women have only limited recourse against abusive 
practices.  Police rarely intervene; women usually rely on 
family or ethnic leaders to resolve such cases.


Neither the Transitional Charter nor other laws provide 
explicitly for the rights of children, and there are few active 
programs that address them.

Female Genital mutilation (FGM) is widespread and performed on 
females at a young age.  The practice is deeply rooted in 
tradition, both in the north and the south.  Despite its severe 
adverse consequences for women's physical and mental health, it 
and is strongly advocated by many Chadians, women as much as 
men.  The Government took no action to prohibit this practice.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The approximately 200 ethnic groups are roughly divided among 
Saharan/Sahelian and Arab Muslims in the northern, central, and 
eastern regions, and Sudanian zone ethnic groups, who practice 
Christianity or animist religions, in the south.  Much of the 
sustained civil conflict since 1964 has revolved around ethnic 
differences.  Currently, well-armed ethnic minorities close to 
the President, representing just over 1 percent of the 
population, exercise authority over military and civilian 
government decisions.  Ethnicity also influences ministerial 

     People with Disabilities

Although there is no official discrimination directed against 
the disabled, the Government has taken no action to improve 
conditions or access for disabled persons.  The disabled have 
little opportunity for wage employment, advanced therapy, or 
special education, although private associations for the 
disabled exist and are active.

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The Transitional Charter specifically recognizes labor's right 
to organize.  Workers are free to join or form unions of their 
choice.  Only the military are prohibited from joining unions, 
and government authorization is required before unions can 

The right to strike and organize was generally respected.  An 
exception was an April 29 decree which attempted to regulate 
the right to strike, which was abrogated after widespread 
protests and a brief police occupation of the labor union 
headquarters which ended without violence after a few days.

Most Chadians work in subsistence agriculture or livestock 
raising.  Government employees, including teachers and workers 
in the few state-owned enterprises, constitute the majority of 
union members.  The dominant union federation remained the 
Federation of Chadian Unions (UST), whose major component is 
the Teachers' Union of Chad.  A second, smaller federation, the 
Free Federation of Chadian workers, continued to operate.  
Neither union had organizational, financial, or procedural ties 
to the Government.

Although no information is available about the outcome of 
specific cases, International Labor Organization (ILO) bodies 
regularly reviewed complaints from the UST against the 
Government stemming from antiunion discrimination, firings, 
forced retirements and other actions.  The Government's labor 
relations suffered when it was not able to keep its side of a 
social pact with the unions, which provided for a 10 percent 
wage increase.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The law does not specifically protect collective bargaining.  
Both the Transitional Charter and the pre-Transition Labor Code 
still in effect contain only generalized provisions for the 
rights of labor.  Under the current law, the Government sets 
minimum wage standards and unions may bargain collectively.

The law does not specifically prohibit antiunion 
discrimination.  Although no complaints of such discrimination 
were reported, there is no formal mechanism for resolving them 
should they arise.

There are no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Although there is no specific legal prohibition on forced or 
compulsory labor, no evidence indicates forced or compulsory 
labor occurs.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The law stipulates that the minimum age for employment of 
children is 14 in the wage sector, but the Ministry of Civil 
Service and Labor does not effectively enforce this law.  In 
practice, children are rarely employed except in agriculture.  
Several hundred young people between the ages of 14 and 17 
reportedly serve in the armed forces.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The Government continued to review a draft labor and social 
welfare code conforming to international conventions.  Wage 
standards established under previous governments remain 

Wages remain insufficient to support subsistence, much less 
maintain an adequate standard of living.  For example, the 
minimum monthly professional wage in 1994 was about $46 (24,000 
CFA).  In addition, salary arrears of 4 to 5 months in 
N'Djamena and up to 8 months in rural areas for civil servants, 
combined with no pay for some soldiers, have forced most 
employees to seek other employment, engage in subsistence 
agriculture, or rely on the extended family.

The law limits most nonagricultural work to 48 hours per week, 
with overtime paid for supplementary hours.  Agricultural 
workers are statutorily limited to 2,400 workhours per year.  
All workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of rest per 
week.  The Labor Code recognizes the need for occupational 
health and safety standards, including labor inspectors with 
the authority to enforce them.  There is, however, no 
indication that such health and safety standards exist in 
practice, nor that inspectors have been appointed.

[end of document]


Department Seal

Return to 1994 Human Rights Practices report home page.
Return to DOSFAN home page.
This is an official U.S. Government source for information on the WWW. Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.