Chad. At the beginning of the year, a French aid worker
who was kidnapped three months earlier was released. The
kidnapping as well as the murder of another relief worker
had prompted six aid organizations to temporarily withdraw
COUNTRYAAH, President Idriss Déby was very critical of the UN force
MINURCAT's efforts in eastern Chad and considered it
unsuccessful in its peacekeeping mission among the hundreds
of thousands of refugees in the area. In May it was decided
that the 3,000 UN soldiers should be withdrawn until the end
of the year. The government said it was taking
responsibility for the protection of the refugees and local
residents, but human rights organizations believed that the
residents of the violent area were very vulnerable and were
at great risk.
At the same time as the UN force began its retreat, it
was reported that a couple of million residents of Chad were
threatened by a famine disaster following drought,
mistreatment and burnt pastures. Five-sixths of the
assistance required was missing, according to the FAO FAO.
The vulnerable country was at the bottom of the world on
a number of social and economic measurements. In the UN
agency UNDP's development index, Chad was ranked 163 out of
169 countries. According to Save the Children, the situation
for children and mothers in Chad was almost the worst in the
world. On Transparency International's corruption index,
Chad was ranked 175 out of 180. A measure of equality
between men and women placed Chad in second place, and the
World Bank found that Chad had the worst business climate in
the world for SMEs.
Desertification and climate warming with recurring
drought contribute to the country's severe poverty. In June,
the financial organization Global Environment Facility
declared that the equivalent of SEK 900 million would be set
aside to plant a 15 kilometer wide belt of forest, "The
Great Green Wall", across Africa. The goal was to stop the
spread of the Sahara desert.
Heavy rainfall followed the drought this year. Floods hit
large areas, 70,000 people became homeless, tens of
thousands of acres were destroyed, food shortages worsened
and cholera and other diseases spread.
In July, Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir visited Chad.
He was prosecuted and wanted for war crimes by the
International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the EU
vainly urged the Chad regime to arrest al-Bashir.
As a result of the improved relations between Chad and
Sudan, in October the guerrilla movement declared UFR that
it would lay down its weapons and leave its camps within the
Sudanese border. The guerrillas had been promised amnesty by
the Chadian regime. However, some forces within the UFR
refused to accept the settlement and they applied to the
Central African Republic.