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Title:  Chad Human Rights Practices, 1995
Author:  U.S. Department of State 
Date:  March 1996 
 
 
 
 
                                  CHAD 
 
 
Chad is governed by a transitional regime in which effective power is 
held by President Idriss Deby and his party, the Patriotic Salvation 
Movement (MPS).  President Deby took power in a December 1990 coup and 
was confirmed as Chief of State by the Sovereign National Conference 
(CNS) of 1993.  The CNS also adopted an interim constitutional document, 
the Transitional Charter, establishing a provisional parliament, the 
Higher Transitional Council (CST), and mandating an independent 
judiciary.  In April the CST amended the Charter to permit a third 
extension of the transition, through April 9, 1996.  The Government is 
headed by Prime Minister Djimasta Koibla, who was elected by the CST. 
 
The army, gendarmerie, police and intelligence services are responsible 
for internal security.  Members of the security forces committed serious 
human rights abuses and were not subject to effective control by either 
the Government or judicial authorities.  Officers associated with the 
ethnic group of President Deby dominate the Rapid Intervention Force, 
formerly known as the Republican Guard, and the National Security Agency 
(ANS), a counterintelligence organ that also acted as an internal 
political police. 
 
Chad's economy relies on subsistence agriculture, herding, and fishing.  
Annual per capita income is an estimated $130 to $190.  It has little 
industry; the chief export is raw cotton.  The Government relies heavily 
on external financial and technical assistance.  Its major source of 
revenue is customs duties, but pervasive smuggling and corruption 
severely limit revenues. 
 
The human rights situation worsened in some respects during the year.  
Government and rebel forces committed serious abuses of human rights and 
humanitarian law.  The Government did not prosecute security personnel 
reportedly responsible for murder, rape, torture, arbitrary arrest and 
detention, and illegal search and seizure.  Political activity 
continued, but an opposition leader was arrested in September.  He was 
later released after opposition protests.  The Government generally 
respected freedom of expression, but agents of the ANS ransacked the 
offices of an opposition newspaper and beat two journalists in June.  No 
one was prosecuted for these actions.  The Government at times imposed 
illegal limits on freedom of assembly and association and forced 
cancellation of a legal protest march in June. 
 
In other respects, the judiciary remained subject to government 
interference and was unable to provide citizens with prompt trials.  
Citizens do not have the ability to change their government.  
Discrimination against women was common. 
 
RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 
 
Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including Freedom 
from: 
 
  a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing 
 
Government forces and rebel fighters, including those of the so-called 
Armed Forces of the Federal Republic (FARF), were responsible for 
numerous deaths by summary execution or use of excessive force.  Members 
of the security forces also committed criminal acts that resulted in 
civilian deaths.  The Government took no action to prosecute abuses 
committed by its forces and routinely granted amnesties to rebels. 
 
According to credible reports, government troops killed a number of 
farmers in Eastern Logone province during counterinsurgency operations 
in late April and May.  An investigation by human rights associations 
confirmed at least four victims:  Jerome Gondje, Eloi Diondei, Claude 
Djeratoroum, and Faustin Grongrondje.  The investigation also confirmed 
that the FARF killed a herder, Adoum Mahamat.   
 
Unconfirmed but credible reports by human rights organizations alleged 
that government forces killed at least 50 other persons in Eastern and 
Western Logone provinces from July through September.  Most of the 
victims were farmers, but the total included a teacher and a priest as 
well as rebels kidnaped from prison.  Most were allegedly summarily 
executed, while others were said to have been brutally tortured before 
being killed.  Points of sheet metal were pounded into the head of one 
person, a spike through the head of another, and four nails in the head 
of a third.  Two victims were reported burned alive, one was drowned, 
and one was hanged.  Victims were said to have included a 15-year-old 
girl who was killed resisting rape, and a husband who was killed 
defending his wife.  One victim's name had earlier appeared on the list 
of 55 alleged rebels granted amnesty by President Deby in June.  Human 
rights groups alleged that during the same period FARF guerrillas killed 
four peasants in the Eastern and Western Logone provinces. 
 
Government troops stationed in the region were a law unto themselves.  
According to credible reports, a regimental commander ordered that 
Malachie Mbakoubou, a noncommissioned officer, be tortured.   Torture 
continued for more than 24 hours before he was executed May 25.  
Mbaiterem Nasson, a FARF rebel imprisoned in Moundou, capital of the 
Western Logone, was seized by armed men and transported to the 
countryside where he was tortured and executed on August 6.  On 
September 24 four bound and mutilated bodies were found floating near 
Moundou. 
 
In January the Government implicitly acknowledged responsibility for 
past human rights abuses in the Logone provinces when an official 
delegation to the region offered financial compensation to victims' 
families, but the Government prosecuted no one for these or subsequent 
violations. 
 
Members of the security forces were also implicated in criminal acts of 
murder or attempted murder, as were armed customs agents.  In one case, 
military assassins claimed that they mistook a World Bank consultant for 
their intended target and attempted to kill him.  Although press reports 
and human rights associations identified many of the perpetrators of 
these acts, the Government did not prosecute anyone. 
 
Confirmed killings or attempting killings in N'Djamena included:  an 
unidentified pedestrian who survived being shot three times at point-
blank range by a bodyguard of former Army Chief of Staff Becher Moussa 
Houno; Al-Hadj Hassane and Al-Hadj Abdoulaye, shot by customs agents at 
the N'Djamena central market; and Moussa Galmaye and Kalimi Adoum, shot 
by ANS official Issa Brahim following a traffic dispute.   
 
Similar cases outside N'Djamena included Samantchouna Dongo Mboulou, a 
veterinary technician fatally shot in Moundou by two officers in April, 
one a security official of the regional military command, and Ambroise 
Ndoyo, a driver who failed to stop at a Moundou roadblock. 
 
  b.  Disappearance 
 
There were reports of peasants abducted by security forces for suspected 
involvement with FARF rebels.  These reports remain unconfirmed, but 
many appear credible.  Some persons who reportedly disappeared were 
among those granted amnesty in June and released in N'Djamena. 
 
  c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or 
Punishment 
 
The Transitional Charter specifically prohibits torture and degrading or 
humiliating treatment.  However, the Government failed to halt acts of 
torture and brutality by its security forces and took no effective 
action to improve conditions in its prisons. 
 
In March, following FARF threats to the parastatal Cotontchad, a police 
official and former secret police agent, Baal Zahr Papy, was sent to 
Moundou to assist military authorities in uncovering FARF sympathizers.  
Security forces arrested Cotontchad employee Edmond Mbaiornom without 
warrant at his residence on March 28.  They bound and beat him, then 
forced him to drink large quantities of water in order to extract a 
confession.  He was freed after 49 days without being charged.   
 
From late April to mid-May, the army intensified counterinsurgency 
operations in the Logone provinces.  Units would typically arrive in 
villages, demand information about rebels from local notables such as 
canton or village chiefs or church pastors and proceed to beat or 
torture them to obtain information.  Other villagers received similar 
treatment for resisting abuses by troops.  Rape of women of all ages by 
soldiers was common.  All villagers risked retaliation by FARF 
guerrillas if they cooperated.  There were numerous reports of victims 
tortured by troops employing a practice called the arbatachar, in which 
a victim's arms and legs are tied behind the back, cutting off 
circulation and causing possible paralysis.  Some victims were bound 
this way and left in the sun; others were hung from trees and beaten.  
There were similar reports in August and September when the Government 
dispatched reinforcements following an accord between FARF leader 
Laokein Barde Frisson and exiled former president Goukouni Wedeye. 
 
Logone villagers were not the only victims of these abuses.  In March 
the prefet of Ouaddai province accused local security forces of illegal 
night arrests, beatings, and other abuses.  On April 25, political 
leader Antoine Bangui, a retired international civil servant, was beaten 
by army soldiers while campaigning in the Western Logone. 
 
Prison conditions are harsh.  Prisons throughout the country are 
appallingly overcrowded, have poor sanitation, inadequate food, shelter, 
and medical facilities, and mix male and female prisoners.  Prisoners 
are almost totally dependent on their families for food and clothing.  
All prisons are in need of major repairs, and escapes are frequent. 
 
  d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile 
 
The Transitional Charter and the Penal Code prohibit arbitrary arrest.  
Arrest warrants must usually be signed by a judicial official.  However, 
the Government does not always respect these requirements.  Military and 
security authorities routinely arrest or detain persons without warrant 
or trial. 
 
On April 9 in Moundou, Baal Zahr Papy ordered the illegal night arrest 
of Damtangar Ley Gatou, vice president of the Moundou Chapter of the 
Chadian Human Rights League.  Community residents came to Gatou Ley's 
defense, forcing security officers to flee. 
 
Security forces illegally detained a number of alleged rebels.  These 
included 10 persons arrested in N'Djamena for connections with the 
National Front of Chad and 55 accused FARF rebels, mostly peasant 
farmers in the Logone provinces.  All were released when President Deby 
decreed an amnesty for opponents of the Government on June 9. 
 
On June 1 in N'Djamena, ANS agents and gendarmes arrested without 
warrant two N'Djamena Hebdo journalists, Yaldet Begoto Oulatar and 
Dieudonne Djonabaye, after ransacking the newspaper's offices.  The 
journalists were taken to ANS headquarters where they were beaten and 
threatened.  Authorities released them only after the intervention of 
Prime Minister Koibla.  The ANS agents responsible were identified by an 
investigation promised by President Deby and carried out by the National 
Human Rights Commission, but have not been bought to trial. 
 
The Government did not use exile as a political weapon. 
 
  e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial 
 
The Transitional Charter mandates an independent judiciary.  A national 
judicial system operates with courts located in provincial capitals, but 
it is underfunded and overburdened and subject to official interference.  
The Government has failed to implement judicial reforms ordered by the 
CNS. 
 
Breakdown of the criminal courts especially cripples the system, as 
official inaction and interference often prevent the judiciary from 
prosecuting cases.  Persons accused of crimes may have to endure up to 
several years of incarceration before being charged or tried.  In many 
cases, persons arrested for felonies in the provinces may be brought to 
trial only if remanded to the overcrowded and dangerous house of 
detention in N'Djamena.  The N'Djamena court of appeals is supposed to 
conduct regular assizes in the provinces, but rarely does so. 
 
Civil courts, in contrast to their criminal counterparts, did 
demonstrate independence in several high-profile cases.  The N'Djamena 
court of appeals overturned a government voter registration campaign.  
This was followed by a wholesale reassignment of judicial personnel.  It 
also fined and sentenced to prison the director general of the ANS, who 
successfully defied the verdict by refusing to recognize the court's 
competence to judge him.  The court convicted on a civil charge a 
presidential guard who fired on a diplomatic vehicle, but he escaped 
from custody the following month after being arraigned for attempted 
murder.  The Moundou Tribunal sentenced to prison and fined an ANS agent 
for the attempted kidnaping of Damtangar Ley Gatou of the Chadian Human 
Rights League. 
 
The Military Code of Justice has not been enforced since the 1979-1980 
Civil War, and courts-martial instituted early in the Deby Regime to try 
MPS fighters for crimes against civilians no longer operate.  The 
remaining military magistrates now sit as civilian judges on the 
N'Djamena court. 
 
People in rural areas usually do not have access to formal judicial 
institutions.  In most civil cases they rely on traditional courts 
presided over by village chiefs, Chefs de Canton, or sultans.  Their 
decisions may be appealed to a formal court. 
 
  f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
Correspondence 
 
The Transitional Charter provides for the right to privacy of home and 
correspondence and freedom from arbitrary search.  The Penal Code 
requires that authorities conduct searches of homes only during daylight 
hours and with a legal warrant.  In practice, security forces ignored 
these provisions and conducted extrajudicial searches at any time.  
Chief offenders were the ANS and gendarmerie, who mounted illegal 
operations against opposition figures, and the army, which invaded 
villages in areas of internal conflict, in many cases abusing their 
victims and extorting goods and money from them (see Section 1.g.). 
 
On January 12, acting on orders of the Interior Minister, gendarmes 
entered the house of veteran political figure and major opposition 
leader Abdoulaye Lamana without possession of a warrant.  They 
confiscated two registered hunting rifles.  On August 30, ANS agents and 
gendarmes mounted a search of the residence of another opposition 
figure, former Minister Saleh Kebzabo, without a warrant and after dark.  
They abused his pregnant wife when she asked to see a warrant, then 
confiscated documents, money, and an automobile.  Police arrested 
Kebzabo several days later, but released him after protests by 
opposition political parties.  He filed a civil suit against the 
officials responsible. 
 
The Government engages in widespread telephone surveillance without 
judicial authority. 
 
  g.  Use of Excessive Force and Violations of Humanitarian Law in 
Internal Conflicts 
 
Security forces often failed to distinguish between combatants and 
noncombatants in carrying out military actions and exacted reprisals 
against villagers suspected of aiding rebels, including burning villages 
and destroying crops.  There were credible reports from Eastern and 
Western Logone, Ouaddai, and Lake provinces of villages which were 
pillaged and terrorized by government and rebel forces.  Both sides 
extorted or stole money and goods from villagers.  Inhabitants of 
villages victimized by one side were often then subject to exactions by 
the other for their supposed collaboration. 
 
In the Logone provinces, villages were forced to quarter army troops 
operating in the area, since the Government provided no barracks and 
little pay.  Army units also evicted villagers from schools and churches 
for use as quarters.  An inquiry conducted by the Papal Nuncio and the 
Catholic bishop of Moundou confirmed that troops had occupied churches 
in at least six Logone villages in August. 
 
Both the army and FARF guerrillas prevented villagers from working their 
fields, at times destroying their seeds.  The army forced some 
inhabitants to abandon villages by threats and exactions, including 
burning.  Army troops stole villagers' grain, livestock and other 
possessions, raising fears of famine.  As a means of crippling 
government export earnings, FARF fighters intimidated the inhabitants of 
many villages from raising cotton, their sole cash crop. 
 
In March, Movement for Democracy and Development (MDD) rebels in the 
Lake Chad region seized an American U.N. consultant and two associates 
as hostages.  They later released the U.S. citizen in Nigeria. 
 
Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including: 
 
  a.  Freedom of Speech and Press 
 
The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of speech and the press.  
The Government generally respected these rights, but there were 
instances of censorship of state radio, including by the Chief of State.  
The Higher Council on Communications (HCC) intervened effectively as an 
ombudsman. 
 
The Government did not censor opposition newspapers, and some were 
vociferously critical of government policies and leaders.  It also did 
not interfere with the distribution of opposition tracts and press 
releases.  However, government agents were responsible for two attacks 
on independent journalists.  In April army personnel assaulted Mahdi 
Khalil Mahdi, the Moundou correspondent for the independent newspaper Le 
Progres, causing the newspaper to recall him.  On June 1, ANS agents and 
gendarmes conducting a search of the home of a senior civil servant were 
surprised by a reporter for the newspaper N'Djamena Hebdo.  The ANS 
detained the reporter and took him to the newspaper's offices, where ANS 
agents destroyed computers, printers, and other equipment, abused 
employees, and arrested journalists. 
 
The press consists of a national radio network, a press agency, and an 
N'Djamena television station, all owned and operated by the State, as 
well as a number of small, limited-circulation, independent and party 
newspapers.  The state media, although regularly providing coverage of 
opponents of the Government, give priority to government officials and 
events and is subject to both official and informal censorship.  In 
August President Deby banned news of the ransacking of opposition party 
leader Saleh Kebzabo's compound by government agents.  Deby lifted this 
order only after the HCC chairman intervened. 
 
The HCC, an independent institution mandated by the CNS, acts as an 
arbiter whose main function is to promote free access to the media.  It 
has been able to prod state radio and television to air opposition 
views.  In October, despite strong pressure from religious groups, it 
ruled that the television station had to drop its longstanding refusal 
to show an award winning film condemning female genital mutilation, 
directed by state television producer Zara Mahamat Yacoub. 
 
Academic freedom is respected. 
 
  b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association 
 
The Transitional Charter provides for freedom of association and 
assembly, and the Government generally respects these rights.  
Authorities routinely grant permits for political and nongovernmental 
organization (NGO) meetings and usually do not interfere in meetings or 
press conferences.  Nevertheless, the Government was responsible for 
serious assaults on freedom of assembly and association. 
 
In June the Government banned a citywide march organized by a coalition 
of opposition parties and NGO's to protest the ransacking of the 
N'Djamena Hebdo newspaper offices and the mistreatment of its 
journalists (see Sections 1.f. and 2.a.).  Authorities informed 
organizers that they would disperse marchers using lethal force if 
necessary.  The Government stationed armed gendarmes along the planned 
route and occupied the offices of major labor organizations.  The 
organizers cancelled the march. 
 
Chad currently has 60 registered political parties and several hundred 
NGO's.  However, a confusion of laws governing NGO's enabled the 
Minister of Territorial Administration to threaten unions and human 
rights organizations with dissolution for organizing joint rallies with 
political parties in July and August in N'Djamena.  The NGO's maintained 
that the law cited by the Government had been superseded, but acceded to 
the ruling. 
 
On November 4, gendarmes illegally broke up a meeting of political 
parties called at Prime Minister's Koibla's request.  In protest, the 
president of the CST, Issa Abbas Ali, briefly suspended the activities 
of the provisional parliament. 
 
  c.  Freedom of Religion 
 
The Transitional Charter provides that the state is officially secular; 
all faiths worship without government constraint. 
 
  d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign Travel, 
Emigration, and Repatriation 
 
The Transitional Charter provides for these rights.  The Government does 
not require special permission for travel in most areas.  However, armed 
bandits operate on many roads, exposing travelers to assault, robbery, 
and murder; many bandits have been identified as soldiers and deserters.  
The Defense Minister personally led a mission to clear the country's 
main routes of illegal roadblocks, but security forces, guerrillas and 
bandits continue to maintain them, extorting money from travelers. 
 
Citizens may leave the country and return. 
 
Chadian refugees are free to repatriate, although many remain in 
neighboring countries.  In May approximately 7,000 citizens returned to 
southern Chad from the Boubou refugee camp in the Central African 
Republic under the auspices of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.  
About 4,000 remain in the camp, in addition to others at Kaga Bandro and 
Bangui.  Several thousand other Chadian refugees remain in Niger, 
partisans of an unsuccessful rebel invasion of Chad in 1992.  Fewer than 
2,000 former Chadian refugees remain in Cameroon. 
 
Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens to 
Change Their Government 
 
Citizens were unable to exercise this right in 1995.  Effective power 
remains in the hands of President Deby, members of his Zaghawa ethnic 
group, the military and security services they dominate, and his MPS 
party. 
 
The CNS granted the Government a limited mandate to rule in accordance 
with the Transitional Charter.  Neither the President nor members of the 
CST are subject to recall.  The national government appoints local 
officials.  The CNS mandated the establishment of an Independent 
National Electoral Commission to oversee elections, but it was not 
installed until February.  The National Voter Registration Commission 
initiated its campaign in December. 
 
Few women hold senior leadership positions.  Two women currently serve 
in the 20-member Cabinet; there are four women in the 52-member CST. 
 
Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations of Human Rights 
 
Human rights organizations operate with few overt restrictions, 
investigating and publishing their findings on human rights cases.  
Government officials are often accessible, but are generally 
unresponsive or hostile to their findings. 
 
Nongovernmental human rights associations have become established 
members of civil society under the Deby regime and participate in key 
governmental institutions.  They are courageous, if often partisan in 
publicizing abuses through reports and press releases, but only 
occasionally are able to intervene with authorities.  All are dominated 
by opponents of the Government, impairing their credibility.  Two 
governmental bodies, the newly established National Human Rights 
Commission and the Human Rights Committee of the CST, are also active, 
but the Government consistently ignores their recommendations. 
 
The Government permitted investigations by international human rights 
organizations, but took no action on their reports.  In January, the 
U.N. Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) released a report on the human 
rights situation.  Its Chad Special Rapporteur, M'bam Diarra Ndoure 
visited again in November.  The Government defended its record in two 
cases before the UNHRC under the confidential 1503 Procedure.  A 
delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross visited 
prisons in N'Djamena, Moundou, Sarh, Abeche, Biltine, Bol and Baga Sola 
in March and April. 
 
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, or origin.  In practice, cultural traditions 
maintain women in subordinate status, and the Government favors its 
ethnic supporters and allies. 
 
  Women 
 
While no statistics are available, domestic violence against women is 
common.  By tradition, wives are subject to their husbands, and have 
only limited legal recourse against abuse.  Family or ethnic authorities 
may act in such cases, but police rarely intervene. 
 
Neither government nor advocacy groups operate programs to redress 
discrimination against women.  Women do not have equal opportunities for 
education and training, so it is difficult for them to compete for the 
few formal sector jobs.  Property and inheritance laws do not 
discriminate against women, but traditional practice favors men.  
Exploitation of women is especially pervasive in rural areas, where 
women do most of the agricultural labor and are discouraged from study. 
 
  Children 
 
The Government has demonstrated little commitment to children's rights 
and welfare.  It has not committed adequate funding to public education 
and medical care.  Educational opportunities for girls are limited.  
About as many girls as boys are enrolled in primary school, but the 
percentage of girls enrolled in secondary school is extremely low, 
primarily because of early marriage.   Although the law prohibits sex 
with a girl under the age of 14, even if married, this law is rarely 
enforced, and many families arrange marriages for girls as young as age 
11 or 12--sometimes forcibly--for the financial gain of a dowry.  Many 
are then obligated to work long hours of physical labor for their 
husbands in fields or homes. 
 
Female genital mutilation (FGM), which is widely condemned by 
international health experts as damaging to both physical and 
psychological health, is widespread and deeply rooted in tradition.  
Advocated by women as well as by men, the practice is strongest among 
ethnic groups in the east and south.  It is usually performed prior to 
puberty as a rite of passage, an occasion many families use to profit 
from gifts from their communities.  Opposition to its elimination is 
strong.  Several female officials of the Health Ministry attempted to 
develop a public education program to change attitudes toward FGM, but 
received no government support.  A number of women's groups are active 
in promoting change, but few are effective; government officials 
discourage their activities.  The award winning film on FGM by a Muslim 
woman was strongly condemned by Islamic associations and the Imam of the 
N'Djamena grand mosque.  It was shown on state television, and provoked 
widespread discussion of this previously taboo subject. 
 
  People with Disabilities 
 
There is no official discrimination against disabled persons.  However, 
the Government operates no therapy, education, or employment programs 
for people with disabilities, and no laws mandate access to buildings 
for them. 
 
  National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities 
 
Ethnicity continues to influence government appointments and political 
alliances.  There are approximately 200 ethnic groups from two general 
traditions:  Arab and Saharan/Sahelian zone Muslims in the north, center 
and east, and Sudanian zone Christian or animist peoples in the south.  
Rivalries among these many groups have caused civil tensions and 
conflicts for many years. 
 
Section 6  Worker Rights 
 
  a.  The Right of Association 
 
The Transitional Charter specifically recognizes labor's right to 
organize.  All employees, except members of the military, are free to 
join or form unions.  Unions must receive authorization from the 
Government in order to operate legally.  However, few workers belong to 
unions:  most Chadians are subsistence cultivators or herders.  The main 
labor organization is the Federation of Chadian Unions (UST); its major 
constituent union is the Teachers' Union of Chad (SET).  Neither has 
organizational, financial, or procedural ties to the Government.  A 
number of minor federations and unions, including the Free Confederation 
of Chadian Workers (CLTT), also operate, some with ties to government 
officials. 
 
The Government generally respected the right to strike and organize.  
Armed police and gendarmes occupied UST, CLTT, and SET offices for 2 
days in June to prevent their participation in a march planned to 
protest government actions in the N'Djamena Hebdo affair.  There were no 
strikes in the private sector, but work stoppages by civil servants, 
teachers, and health workers over unpaid salaries were common throughout 
the year in all areas of the country.  On several occasions unionized 
public school teachers in N'Djamena engaged in intimidation of teachers 
in nonunion private schools, forcing these schools to close in support 
of SET's demands. 
 
The International Labor Organization received but did not examine UST 
complaints against the Government for allegedly violating the right to 
strike and demonstrate, and for occupying union headquarters in 1994. 
 
  b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively 
 
The Transitional Charter and the Labor Code contain only general 
provisions on the rights of labor and do not specifically protect 
collective bargaining.  The Labor Code requires the Government to set 
minimum wage standards and permits unions to bargain collectively. 
 
The law does not specifically prohibit antiunion discrimination, and 
there is no formal mechanism for resolving such complaints.  In May 
three top union officials in Biltine prefecture, Bakari Aoudou and 
Nadjingar Djimodundoudje of UST and Lokal Yokassi of SET, were suspended 
from their jobs by their employers at the behest of government officials 
and expelled for publicly presenting union complaints about insecurity 
in the region and nonpayment of salaries. 
 
There are no export processing zones. 
 
  c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor 
 
Forced labor was outlawed in 1952.  There is no evidence of the practice 
in the formal economy, but there are indications of isolated instances 
among rural farming or herding communities and in military installations 
in the north. 
 
In 1995 the newly established National Nomad Guard freed several men 
held as slaves by nomadic herders in the Lake Chad region.  There was 
also strong evidence that the military routinely compels members to 
perform forced labor at isolated outposts as punishment. 
 
  d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children 
 
The law stipulates that the minimum age for employment in the formal 
sector is 14.  The Government does not enforce the law, but in practice 
children are rarely employed except in agriculture and herding.  Several 
hundred young people between the ages of 14 and 17 reportedly serve in 
the armed forces. 
 
  e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work 
 
The Labor Code requires the Government to set minimum wages.  It agreed 
this year to raise minimum monthly public sector wages beginning in 1995 
from a range of $355 to $415 (cfa 7,100 to cfa 8,320) to $1,500 to 
$1,450 (cfa 21,000 to cfa 25,000), but failed to fully implement the 
changes.  Most wages are insufficient to support subsistence, much less 
to maintain an adequate standard of living.  According to a UST study, 
public sector wages remained the same from 1977 to 1994 while the cost 
of living rose by 400 percent. 
 
The Government also failed to pay its employees fully, particularly in 
areas outside the capital.  Salary arrears to civil servants at year's 
end were as much as 4 to 5 months in N'Djamena and up to 8 months 
outside the capital.  There were no payments at all to some members of 
the military for most of the year.  Many state employees were obliged to 
search for second jobs, raise their own food crops, or rely on family 
for support. 
 
The law limits most nonagricultural work to 48 hours per week, with 
overtime paid for supplementary hours, and agricultural work to 2,400 
hours per year.  All workers are entitled to 24 consecutive hours of 
rest per week.  The Government took no actions to enforce these 
standards. 
 
The Labor Code mandates occupational health and safety standards and 
inspectors with the authority to enforce them.  These standards are 
rarely respected in practice.  There is no indication that the 
Government has ever appointed safety inspectors. 

(###)

[end of document]

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