Chad

On 16 June the government of Chad signed an action plan to end recruitment and use of children in its national army and security forces. The new action plan is an agreement between the Chadian Government and the United Nations to end recruitment and use of child soldiers. The action plan spells out concrete steps, which when taken, will result in Chad being removed from the Secretary-General’s list of parties who recruit and use children.

Chad went to the polls on Monday in the first round of its presidential election with incumbent Idriss Déby Itno virtually assured of extending his 21-year rule after his main rivals boycotted the vote. Key opposition leaders have withdrawn from the vote after claiming that his Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party stole February parliamentary elections and the start of Monday's vote was marred by hitches. Opposition leaders Saleh Kebzabo, Wadal Abdelkader Kamougue and Ngarlejy Yorongar sa...read more

Dozens of minors interviewed by Amnesty International for a new report had joined the Chadian army and armed opposition groups in the east. The report found that 80 per cent of the estimated 7,000-10,000 child soldiers recruited in Chad are associated with armed groups, while the remaining 20 per cent are involved with the country’s armed forces. These UN estimates also indicate that they may have been used as combatants.

Chad's opposition parties withdrew from the electoral commission on Friday (25 March), putting at risk a delayed presidential election scheduled for next month. Three major opposition candidates in the oil-producing Central African country already said this week they would boycott the vote on concerns it would not be credible.

As South Africa prepares to host the United Nations climate change summit in Durban this year, Lake Chad is living proof of the continent's environment in crisis. It was almost double the area of Gauteng just four decades ago but has shrunk by 95%. It is now smaller than Johannesburg.

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