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Country Reports
CHAD, Landmine Monitor Report 1999


Mine Ban Policy

Chad signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 6 July 1998, but has not yet ratified. Chad endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration of June 1997, but otherwise did not participate in the Ottawa Process, including the treaty negotiations in Oslo. There is no evidence of landmine production in Chad and the country is not believed to have any production capacity. Chad is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines. There is no information on Chad’s stockpile of antipersonnel mines. There have been some indications of possible recent use of landmines in the Togoimi revolt in the far north region of Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (BET), including rumors of antitank mine incidents, but no concrete information is available.

Landmine Problem

Decades of conflict and the 1973 Libyan invasion have left Chad with a severe landmine and UXO problem. Estimates of landmine numbers vary from a low of 50,000 to a high of one million.[1] There is currently no comprehensive mine database or minefield records. An assessment carried out by an UN expert deminer in June 1995 concluded that 70,000 mines were still in need of clearance.[2]

Based on comprehensive reconnaissance of the region by a French expert, it is estimated there are approximately one million mines and an unknown amount of UXO in Chad.[3] The BET is the most severely mine-infested region and there are relatively few mine incidents in the rest of the country. In May 1996, a vehicle carrying a new sub-prefect, an army officer and gendarmerie strayed off the road and hit a mine, wounding all three.[4]

During their occupation of the Aozou Strip and environs, Libyan forces laid both AT mines and AP mines. Battles with Chadian forces resulted in the spread of unexploded ordnance and other dangerous debris. Most mines are located in the BET region. Although some were laid in field patterns, most were randomly deployed, many in food-producing areas. Minefields were neither marked nor fenced, and no maps were handed over to the Chadian authorities at the end of the hostilities.[5] Further south, the presence of mines and UXO has also been reported in the provinces of Biltine, Ouaddai, Salamat and Moyen Chari, but no figures are available.[6]

According to the Chadian military there are approximately 10,000 mines in Aouzou; 2,000 in Zouar; 31,000 in Wour; 10,000 in Oudi Doum; 2,000 in Fada; 5,000 in Ounianga-Kabir and 10,000 in other locations. Landmines restrict travel in parts of the country and have also restricted access to oasis in the north.[7] Minefields are generally made up of a combination of AT mines and AP mines, with approximately one-third of devices booby-trapped. To date, twenty-two different types of landmine of various origins have been identified.[8] Countries of origin include Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United States, former Yugoslavia and former Czechoslovakia.[9]

Mine Action

In 1995, Chad approached the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) for help in launching a global national mine action program.[10] The UNDP has set up a mine action center under the authority of the Haut Commissariat National pour le Déminage (HCND). Despite efforts to increase funding, potential international donors are waiting for more detailed data on the social, economic and health impact of landmines. The United States finances a bilateral cooperation program to strengthen the Chadian armed forces’ mine clearance capacity.

Under Chad’s mine action program, the National Humanitarian Demining Program plans to implement both a national mine awareness campaign and to create a national database.[11] Since the departure of Libyan forces from the north in 1994, there have been a number of mine clearance efforts. A joint Chadian-Libyan initiative to clear landmines in the north in 1995 claims officially to have destroyed 529 antitank mines and 263 others. But, a U.N. official told Human Rights Watch that the Libyans gave the Chadian official responsible for verifying these efforts a Toyota Land Cruiser in return for declaring the work complete.[12]

French forces from the Chad-based Opération Epervier garrison have conducted mine clearance operations, as have Chadian forces.[13] Mine action was established as a priority by a presidential decree, which also created a national mine action center and the HCND.[14] The U.S. Department of State estimates that by 1998, 3,000 landmines have been cleared in these operations.[15]

After a conference sponsored by Chad at the U.N. in New York, the United States began a bilateral program, which resulted in the national action center’s establishment, along with the training of eighty Chadian demining instructors and staff. The next phase involves the training of a further forty deminers and the establishment of a regional mine action center.[16] The US bilateral program is divided into the following phases:

- Command and control structure development, from January to September 1998;

- Infrastructure development;

- Specialised training and program assessment;

- Quality Assurance program certification.

Landmine Casualties

Despite Chad’s otherwise relatively efficient collection system for epidemiological data, no data is at present available on mine victims.[17] Reasons for this vary: ‘mine-victim’ may not feature as a category in data collection questionnaires; equally, poor and scarce healthcare infrastructure in the north may result in an artificially low number of incidents recorded.

There is no information available on the nature and scope of disability legislation. Chad has three hospital structures capable of treating war-related injuries: Faya Largeau Hospital in the north; the National Hospital in Ndjamena and the capital’s military hospital, both of which have surgery departments at their disposal. N’djamena has one functioning prosthetic rehabilitation workshop. No information is available on socio-economic reintegration or financial support initiatives for mine victims. The ICRC reports that between 1981 and 1992 it was present in Chad and manufactured over 1,300 prostheses. The program has been handed over to the Secours Catholique et Développent (SECADEV) although the ICRC provides technical visits annually.[18]


[1]The U.S. Department of State estimated between 50,000 and 70,000 mines remain in Chad. See U.S. Department of State, Hidden Killers: The Global Landmine Crisis (Washington D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 1998) p. A-2.; and for the one million figure see, Déminage du B.E.T. - Soutien cartographique - Réhabilitation des pistes déminées. République du Tchad, N’djamena, 1997. Mine-clearance reconnaissance report in the Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (BET) region, conducted in December 1996 by General Grangeon (France) and three Chadian officers.

[2]Paddy Blagden, 'Outline Proposal for the Mine Clearance of the Tibesti region of Northern Chad,' U.N. Demining Office, New York, 1995.

[3]Déminage du B.E.T. - Soutien cartographique.

[4]Reuters, 6 June 1996.

[5]Anthony Cordesman and Abraham Wagner, The Lessons of Modern War (Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), vol. 1, p.70;cited in Anti-Personnel Landmines. Friend or Foe? A study of the military use and effectiveness of anti-personnel mines (Geneva: ICRC, 1996), p.33.

[6]Chad report, UN Country Database, http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country-chad.html//12/98

[7]Alex Vines, 'The Killing Fields: Landmines in North and West and Central Africa,' African Topics, no.18, June-July 1997.

[8]Republic of Chad, National Mine Action Plan 1999. 1 November – 31 December 1998. National Plan for the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance in support to the economic and social development for Chad,(Ndjamena: Republic of Chad, 1998), p. 5.

[9]Chad report, UN Country Database, http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country-chad.html//12/98; the most common antipersonnel mines are NR409 (Belgian); PPM2 (German); M14 (US); M18 (US); PMA3 (Yugoslavia); PMN (Russian).

[10]Republic of Chad, National Mine Action Plan 1999. 1 November – 31 December 1998. National Plan for the removal of landmines and unexploded ordnance in support to the economic and social development for Chad,(Ndjamena: Republic of Chad, 1998), 21pp.

[11]Republic of Chad, National Mine Action Plan, p.7.

[12]Alex Vines, 'The Killing Fields,' African Topics, no.18, June-July 1997.

[13]Between May and November 1987, French engineers removed or destroyed: 4,747 ATM, 1,073 APM, 6,735 items of UXO (rockets, mortar, grenades, etc), twenty-five plane-carried bombs, 4,490 stockpiled mines and 192,880 rounds of ammunition. See, Bilan Global des interventions réalisées par le 17 RGP entre le 28 mai et le 2 novembre 1987,'  in, Déminage du B.E.T. Soutien Cartographique.

[14]Republic of Chad, National Mine Action Plan 1999, p.5.

[15]U.S. Department of State, Hidden Killers, 1998, p.A-4.

[16]Republic of Chad, National Mine Action Plan 1999, p. 6.

[17]Ministère de la santé, Annuaire des statistiques sanitaires du Tchad. Tome A, niveau national, année 1997, (Ndjamena: Ministère de la santé, 1998).

[18]ICRC, Landmines in Africa, ICRC, May 1997.