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 from Chad.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Chad has a population of 15.48 million (2018). 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 In May it was decided that the 3,000 UN soldiers should be withdrawn until the end of the year.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.