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Military of Chad

Under President Hissein Habre[?], members of Gourane[?], Zaghawa[?], Kanembou[?], Hadjerai[?], and Massa[?] ethnic groups dominated the military of Chad. Idriss Deby[?], a member of the minority Zaghawa-related Bidyate clan and a top military commander, revolted and fled to the Sudan, taking with him many Zaghawa and Hadjerai soldiers in 1989. The forces that Deby led into N'Djamena[?] on December 1, 1990 to oust President Habre were mainly Zaghawa (including a large number of Sudanese), many of whom were recruited while Deby was in the bush. Deby's coalition also included a small number of Hadjerais and southerners.

Chad's armed forces numbered about 36,000 at the end of the Habre regime but swelled to an estimated 50,000 in the early days of Idriss Deby. With French support, a reorganization of the armed forces was initiated early in 1991 with the goal is to reducing the armed forces to 25,000. An essential element of this effort was to make the ethnic composition of the armed forces reflective of the country as a whole. Neither of these goals was achieved. The military still numbers at least 30,000 men and is dominated by the Zaghawa.

War and rebellions have continued to plague Chad in recent years, as they have since 1965. Following Idriss Deby's rise to power, Habre loyalists continued to fight government troops and rob civilians around Lake Chad. There were numerous small rebellions in Eastern Chad, even among the Zaghawa. In the mid- and late-1990s, a rebellion in the south by the FARF[?] delayed the promised oil development until crushed by government forces. Most recently, Youssouf Togoimi and his Movement for Democracy and Justice in Tchad (MDJT) launched the most serious threat to Deby's hold on power. Since 1998, government and rebel forces have fought with little progress on either side. In January 2002, the government and the MDJT signed a formal peace accord, although its provisions have not yet been implemented.

Military branches: Armed Forces (includes Ground Force, Air Force, and Gendarmerie), Republican Guard, Rapid Intervention Force, Police, Rural and Nomadic Guard (GNNT)

Military manpower - military age: 20 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 1,749,033 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 915,664 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 79,596 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $39 million (FY96)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 3.5% (FY96)

See also : Chad



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