Chad is a centralized republic with a population of approximately 11 million. In 2006 President Idriss Deby Itno, leader of the Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), was elected to a third term in what unofficial observers characterized as an orderly but seriously flawed election boycotted by the opposition. Deby has ruled the country since taking power in a 1990 coup. The executive branch dominated the legislature and judiciary.
On January 15, the governments of Chad and Sudan signed an agreement to normalize relations. Both parties agreed to end the presence of and support for the other's armed opposition groups in their respective territories. The governments also agreed to establish a joint force to patrol and monitor the shared border; the joint force was established in February. Hundreds of Chadian rebels who had been living in Sudan returned to the country during the year. The government withdrew support for the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and expelled JEM personnel, including leader Khalil Ibrahim. Fighting between government forces and rebels occurred once during the year, and there were no reports of cross-border raids by militias based in Darfur, Sudan.
In January President Deby announced that he would not support the renewal of MINURCAT, the UN Mission in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad.
On May 25, following subsequent discussions between the government and the United Nations, UN Security Council Resolution 1923 extended MINURCAT's mandate until December 31, with a reduction in its military personnel and complete withdrawal of military and civilian elements, other than those required for the mission's liquidation, by that date. MINURCAT concluded operations and withdrew from the country by December 31. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted independently of civilian control.
Human rights abuses included limitations on citizens' right to change their government; extrajudicial killings, including politically motivated killings; criminal kidnappings of children for ransom; torture, beatings, and rape by security forces; security force impunity; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; incommunicado detention; lengthy pretrial detention; denial of fair public trial; executive interference in the judiciary; arbitrary interference with privacy, family, and correspondence; limitations on freedom of speech, press, and movement; abuse of refugees; widespread official corruption; kidnappings of nongovernmental organization (NGO) personnel by CHAD 2 armed groups and bandits; societal discrimination and violence against women, including female genital mutilation (FGM); child abuse, abduction, and trafficking; and child marriage. Use of child soldiers occurred, although reports of such activity greatly decreased during the year. Ethnic-based discrimination; repression of union activity; forced labor, including by children; and exploitive child labor were problems.
Ethnic-based rebel groups and bandits committed human rights abuses, including killings; abductions, rape, and injury of civilians; use of child soldiers; and attacks against humanitarian workers. The government's defeat of rebel groups and expulsion of JEM personnel, however, impeded their ability to operate within the country, resulting in a dramatic decrease in human rights abuses committed by such groups.