Chad: Situation in the Lac region and impact of the Nigerian crisis Situation Report n° 22 (23/03/2017)
The security situation remained calm, despite some incidents related to inter-communal tensions or acts allegedly perpetrated by armed elements.
Two multisector assessments in the return areas of women and children having allegedly surrendered highlighted many vulnerabilities and the likely return of nearly 40,000 people in the southern part of Bol canton.
New displacements to Koulkime and Kousserie were reported, caused by a feeling of insecurity among the population.
117 cases of gender-based violence were reported and documented during the months of January and February in Baga Sola and Liwa areas.
A school kit distribution campaign for all students in the Lac region started during the week of 20 February to support the resumption of classes.
The security situation remained calm, despite some incidents reported in January and February. Two incidents are linked to inter-communal tensions: on 8 January, a conflict between farmers and herders reportedly caused one death in the islands around Bol. On 16 February, clashes between two communities in Ernou village, 40km northeast of Baga Sola, reportedly resulted in one death and one seriously wounded, leading the authorities to intervene to prevent a deterioration of the situation. Two incidents were linked to the actions of armed elements: on 19 January, members of an armed group allegedly attacked fishermen on an island between Tchoukoutalia and Boma, causing three deaths (one member of an armed group and two fishermen). On 18 February, one displaced person was reportedly killed in Koulfoua. According to the authorities, this incident was allegedly caused by members of an armed group. Moreover, the ongoing military movements in the Lac region could be accompanied by a surge in security incidents, partly due to the creation of security vacuums in some areas. In 2016, the resurgence of incidents in the Lac region in June-August 2016 coincided with the military operations of the Multinational Joint Taskforce.
The situation of people having allegedly surrendered remained dynamic until the closing of the site in Baga Sola. Small waves of people allegedly surrendering continued to be recorded in January, with 4 people reportedly presenting themselves to authorities on 9 January, 12 on 10 January, 8 on 27 January, and 3 on 30 January including one woman and one child who were directly handed over to the chief of their canton of origin. In total, since July 2016, more than 1,200 people have allegedly presented themselves to the authorities. These people are now in their villages of origin. Indeed, since 20 February, the men having allegedly surrendered who were being held on a site in Baga Sola have been authorized by the authorities to join their families in their villages of origin.
They were reportedly given a written authorization that would allow their identification and monitoring. However, their status has not yet been determined. According to local authorities, this return of men having allegedly surrendered could present additional protection risks but also facilitate the reintegration of families into their communities of origin.
In addition, during the reporting period, two multisector assessments were carried out in the return areas of women and children having allegedly surrendered. A rapid assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Regional Delegation for Social Affairs (DRAS) and the NGO Initiative pour l’Humanitaire et le Développement (IHDL), conducted on 12 and 13 January in island areas in the south of Bol, reported multisector needs, particularly in food security. Indeed, low food stocks and insufficient incomes lead to the adoption of negative survival strategies (reduction in the number of meals per day, borrowing money, etc.). According to the assessment, women and children who returned to their villages of origin have not faced integration problems, but specific cases of stigmatization require follow-up.
Following this mission, and upon recommendation of the Humanitarian Country Team, a multisector assessment mission was organized from 10 to 14 February to assess the conditions of return of people having allegedly surrendered who were transferred to their villages of origin and to identify the humanitarian needs in the return areas. The mission estimates that some 40,000 people have returned to 14 villages and sites in Bol subprefecture, including island areas.
The main need these populations face is food and livelihoods, which have been severely affected by the crisis. The need for non-food items, especially blankets, was also mentioned. The vulnerability of populations is exacerbated by movement restrictions linked to the implementation of state of emergency measures (despite its expiry on 24 October 2016) and by poor access to essential services such as health centers, schools and limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Despite the absence of specific protection problems for people having allegedly surrendered who have returned to their villages, numerous protection incidents, particularly gender-based violence, have been reported and require specific assistance. As regards people having allegedly surrendered, psychosocial support should be provided in order to address the trauma experienced. An operational plan has been developed to mobilize efforts for a joint response to multi-sectoral needs in the southern basin of the lake . Difficulties in accessing the islands were the main constraint faced by the mission and could have an impact on the delivery of assistance to the population.
The multisector needs severity matrix underscores a particularly critical situation in sites visited in island areas. Two villages, Medi Kouta and Nahr, are the most vulnerable. Most of the sites visited demonstrate a severe vulnerability in the education sector and