Chad. In January, Parliament decided to postpone the parliamentary elections for a year, which was criticized by the opposition. Parliament’s justification was that the country could not afford to hold two elections the same year, presidential elections would be held later in the year.
It was reported at the beginning of the year that several of President Idriss Déby’s supporters deserted to the eastern Chad rebels, and in March it was announced that hundreds of soldiers had been arrested for coup attempts against the president. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Chad include Independence Day (August 11) and New Year (January 1). Déby was also pressured by foreign policy through a conflict with Sudan in the border area, where Chadian rebels operated from Darfur on the Sudanese side. In the spring, the government army launched an offensive in the east against the rebel forces. At the same time, the Chadian regime threatened to expel a few hundred thousand Sudanese who fled to Chad from the war and famine in Darfur. But the regime decided instead to close the border with Sudan, which worried relief organizations that assisted the Chadian side by hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people in Sudan.
In the May presidential election, Déby was unarmed, as the opposition largely boycotted the election. According to official figures, the president received 77% of the vote, but according to the opposition, the data on voter turnout was exaggerated. They were later adjusted down to just over half of those entitled to vote. Déby’s victory figure changed to just under 65%. After the election, Déby accused Sudan of wanting to transfer his internal conflict to the Chadian side of the border.
The dreaded Sudanese Janjawid militia, which carried out bloody massacres in Darfur, was reported to have made violent raids even inside Chad. In July, however, Chad and Sudan signed an agreement on joint border monitoring, and both countries pledged not to allow the other side’s rebels on their land.
The ChevronTexaco and Petronas oil companies, which accounted for more than half of Chad’s oil production, were accused in August of tax evasion and called on the government to leave the country. Three ministers were also dismissed, accused of helping companies avoid tax. The measures were seen as part of the government’s plans for increased oil cooperation with China, with which Chad resumed diplomatic relations. In the fall, however, the government signed an agreement with ChevronTexaco and Petronas, who were allowed to stay in the country.
The fighting between the army and rebels in eastern Chad intensified at the end of the year, and the Janjawid militia from Sudan attacked Chadian villages. It was believed that Sudanese rebels had Déby’s silent permission to operate inside Chad if they fought the Chadian rebels. Reports from eg. Relief workers said that hundreds of people were killed in villages far from the Sudanese border.