Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)0 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.1.30 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.0 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.3.40 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.3.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
- 37,000 People affected
Violence linked to militant and criminal groups has spiked in the Tibesti region of northern Chad since the end of 2018. A number of significant confrontations have taken place in recent months between government troops and non-state armed groups, notably the Conseil de commandement militaire pour le salut de la République/ Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR), as well as between rival groups of miners in the area. ?The violence and insecurity have led to an increase in humanitarian needs, particularly for food and livelihood support. ? Tibesti is currently classified at the Crisis (IPC-3) level of food insecurity, indicating a prevalence of food insecurity that is worse than the national average. ?
22/08: Since early August, intercommunal violence in eastern Chad between Zaghawa herders and Ouaddian farmers has escalated, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency. According to Chadian authorities, at least 50 people have been killed in the past month, though local media sources claim that the number of fatalities is more than 100. As part of the state of emergency, Chad’s border with Sudan has been closed and additional troops will be deployed to conflict-affected areas. The state of emergency covers Sila and Ouaddai, the two regions most affected by the violence, as well as Tibesti, where conflict between government forces and local self-defence militias has flared up periodically in recent months. Though intercommunal conflict is not uncommon in eastern Chad, the latest violence is larger in scale than other clashes that have taken place since the beginning of the year, and there is a significant risk that fighting will continue.?
The volatile security situation combined with a lack of infrastructure restrict humanitarian access. Humanitarian actors have been targeted by violence, including the deaths of 2 humanitarians, resulting in activities being disrupted and suspended. Sporadic incidents of landmine explosions in the Borkou, Ennedi, and Tibesti regions were also recorded. Organisations face challenges due to the lack of government control in Lac and Tibesti regions, where armed groups maintain control. Lac, Ouddai, Sila, and Tibesti regions are all under a ‘state of emergency’ due to ongoing violence, preventing affected populations from accessing humanitarian assistance. Interference into humanitarian activities also remains a concern and lengthy registration and visa processes continue to impede access.
Violent conflict has spiked in Tibesti since late 2018, involving a wide variety of different groups including the Chadian military, opposition factions such as the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR) and Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) which seek to overthrow the government, as well as local self-defense militias. In January 2019, several dozen people were killed following clashes in a gold mining area which pitted CCMSR soldiers against Sudanese militias aligned with the Chadian government.? Approximately one month later in February, a large group of UFR fighters entered northern Chad from their base in Libya, clashing with government troops. Fighting moved towards N’Djamena until French military jets intervened at the request of the Chadian government? Separately, tensions between the Chadian government and self-defense militias have continued to escalate near Miski and have occasionally turned violent over local grievances such as the distribution of gold mining revenues and border disputes, further contributing to the unstable situation.?
Considering events that have unfolded in recent months, there appears to be a growing risk the security situation in Tibesti and other areas of northern Chad will deteriorate further. Government forces are currently stationed outside Miski and are prepared to launch another offensive to clear the area of anti-government forces and self-defense militia groups ? Unaddressed local grievances and Chad’s ongoing economic crisis will likely increase support for non-state armed groups in the north, possibly leading to an escalation of attacks against the military.? There is also an increasing risk that Chadian opposition groups, which have historically maintained a presence in neighbouring countries, will be able to increase the frequency of their cross-border operations as a result of ongoing political crises and recent security deterioration in Libya and Sudan.
Humanitarian needs are already very high in Tibesti as a result of persistent instability and violence. In December 2018, 18,000 people – approximately half of Tibesti’s population – were reported in need of humanitarian assistance; this number has likely risen in recent months.? If government forces were to launch another offensive in the region or if armed groups were to increase the frequency of their attacks this would almost certainly cause a spike in food needs by reducing civilian access to markets, which are the main source of food for most households. Tibesti is already facing Crisis (IPC-3) levels of food insecurity, among the highest of all regions in Chad.? Based on past experience, protection needs will also be of concern, particularly for miners in the region who typically come from other parts of Chad, and are often accused by the government of being criminals or “rebel sympathisers.” A potential escalation of violence can be expected to increase humanitarian access constraints in Tibesti, which is already one of the most remote and hardest to reach areas in the country.
Information Gaps and Needs
Though hostilities are reported to continue, very little precise information is available and it has not been possible to assign the Tibesti Conflict a score in the GCSI.