Chad Country Report
A national forum in March 2018, boycotted by the opposition, proposed constitutional changes that would increase President Déby's authority and allow him to rule until 2033. Overdue legislative elections are scheduled for November 2018, after the likely approval of the proposed changes by the current parliament, where Déby has a majority. Anti-austerity activists are likely to defy a ban on demonstrations, provoking a strong reaction from the security forces using batons, tear gas, and live rounds. US-Chadian relations have improved and Déby continues to co-operate with the West and regionally in counter-terrorism activities. The redeployment of troops from Niger to northern Chad indicates a growing threat from Libyan-based insurgents. Security spending is likelyto remain a priority and government contractors are likely to face increasing payment risks.
Chad is landlocked with few decent roads. Navigability of the main Chari and Logone rivers is limited, and most imports come from Douala seaport in Cameroon, often taking weeks to arrive. A shortage of skilled labour and poor labour relations, with frequent strikes, hamper the operational environment. Corruption pervades public affairs and business. Infrastructure improvements, mostly financed by oil revenues, have been on hold as a result of funding shortages essentially caused by the decline in global oil prices and increased defence expenditure.
In March 2018 Chad arrested its chargé d'affaires in Tripoli for alleged collusion with insurgents. This followed a redeployment of troops from Niger to Chad's northern Tibesti region in October 2017, indicating an increasing threat from Libya-based militants. The government closed the border with Libya in January 2017. Chad was hit by its first-ever Boko Haram terrorist suicide attack in N'Djamena in June 2015 and has responded by rapidly improving security in the capital and Lake Chad area. Strong Chadian armed forces mitigate the risk of a government overthrow.
The deteriorating security situation in neighbouring Central African Republic increases the risk of Chadian intervention to protect its southern border. However, regional counter-terrorism co-operation against Islamist militants reduces the risk of interstate war with its neighbours and Chad has scrapped visa requirements for a number of regional countries. Chad's improved relations with its former bitter rival Sudan in 2010 further reduce the risk of interstate conflict and rebel incursions across this border, although the presence of Chadian militants in southern Libya increases the risk of Chadian troops crossing into Libyan territory.
A government deal with the unions in March 2018, ending a general strike, has reduced labour unrest risks in the short term. Despite a government ban on demonstrations, anti-austerity protests led by civil society organisations are likely to continue, but will be short-lived due to heavy-handed responses by the security forces. Political opposition protests are also likely against proposed constitutional changes. Government opponents are arbitrarily arrested or jailed without charge and the government is likely to disrupt internet connections to stop protest communications.
Vaccines Required to Enter the Country
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission. A single dose of YF vaccine is sufficient to confer sustained life-long immunity against the disease; it should be taken ten days in advance to be fully effective.
Vaccines Recommended for All Travelers
Routine vaccinations: Consult your doctor to ensure all routine vaccinations - such as for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, influenza, measles, mumps, pertussis, rubella, varicella, etc. - are up to date (include booster shots if necessary).
Vaccines Recommended for Most Travelers
Hepatitis A: The vaccine is given in two doses, six months apart, and is nearly 100 percent effective. The WHO recommends the vaccine be integrated into national routine immunization schedules for children aged one year or older.
Typhoid fever: The typhoid fever vaccine can be administered via injection (administered in one dose) or orally (four doses). The vaccine is only 50-80 percent effective, so travelers to areas with a risk of exposure to typhoid fever, a bacterial disease, should also take hygienic precautions (e.g. drink only bottled water, avoid undercooked foods, wash hands regularly, etc.). Children can be given the shot beginning at two years of age (six for the oral vaccine).
Malaria: There is currently no malaria vaccine. However, various antimalarial prophylactics are available by prescription and can reduce risk of infection by up to 90 percent. Different medications are prescribed depending on the risk level and the strains of the virus present in the destination. Antimalarial tablets need to be taken throughout the trip to be effective and may need to be taken for as long as four weeks following the trip.
Vaccines Recommended for Some Travelers
Cholera: A newly licensed cholera vaccine (Vaxchora) has just been made available and may be prescribed for adults traveling to areas with active cholera transmission. The vaccine prevents severe diarrhea caused by the most common type of cholera bacteria. As the vaccine is not fully effective, hygienic precautions should also be taken (e.g. drinking only bottled water, eating only thoroughly cooked foods, washing hands regularly, etc.).
Hepatitis B: The WHO recommends that all infants receive their first dose of vaccine as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. The birth dose should be followed by two or three doses to complete the primary series. Routine booster doses are not routinely recommended for any age group.
Meningococcal meningitis: There are several types of meningococcal vaccines. None offer full immunity and some require periodic booster shots. Consult your doctor to determine which is best for you depending on medical history and travel plans.
Rabies: The rabies vaccination is typically only recommended for travel to remote areas and if the traveler will be at high risk of exposure (e.g. undertaking activities that will bring them into contact with dogs, cats, bats, or other mammals). The vaccination is administered in three doses over a three-to-four week period. Post exposure prophylaxis is also available and should be administered as soon as possible following contact with an animal suspected of being infected (e.g. bites and scratches).
Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is generally recommended for travelers to the areas south of the Sahara Desert.
Flooding is common in many areas of the country, particularly in the south and the east, during the rainy season (July to October).
Despite development efforts, the country suffers from inadequate and degraded road infrastructure - except in N'Djamena where roads are paved. During the rainy season (July to October), roads are generally unreliable, especially in the south.
In N'Djamena and throughout the country, it is advised to drive with doors locked and windows rolled up due to the carjacking risk.
Minimize travel by foot in the capital.
Security checkpoints are common, particularly around sensitive sites (e.g. the airport). Stop at all roadblocks erected by security forces and comply with demands. Note that vehicles with tinted windows are prohibited.
For all travel outside the capital, an authorization from the Ministry of the Interior is necessary. Furthermore, long-distance road travel can be extremely dangerous. Armed highway bandits are active and often violent. Deadly road accidents are common, in part due to the non-observance of traffic laws by other drivers, lack of public lighting, poorly-maintained vehicles, and the lack of medical care facilities. All night travel should be avoided. Furthermore, accidents, particularly fatal ones, can incite a violent reaction from locals.
Outside major cities, travel should be conducted with an all-terrain vehicle (4x4), preferably within a convoy, with adequate supplies of water, food, fuel, spare mechanic parts (tires, cables, etc.), and effective means of communication. Fuel is easy to come by in major cities but difficult elsewhere.
The north of the country in particular lacks decent road infrastructure, with some notable exceptions (e.g. the road linking the Libyan border with Ounianga Kebir and Faya-Largeau and the road linking N'Djamena with Faya-Largeau, Faya, and Abeche). Furthermore, minefields may be present in areas along the border with Libya. Finally, as noted above, the region is difficult to secure due to prevalent illegal trafficking in the area and regular jihadists incursions.
Only 6.4 percent of the population has access to electricity. Even in N'Djamena, power cuts are common.
Means of communication remain unreliable nationwide, including in the capital, due to infrastructural deficiencies. In addition, authorities sometimes cut access to mobile and social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter).
The climate is arid in the north of the country, Sahelian in the center, and tropical in the south. In the north days are very hot and nights are cool and the area receives very little rainfall. In the center of the country, the rainy season lasts from March until October. In the south, the rainy season lasts from May until late September. During the dry season (December-April) temperatures are very high (particularly between mid-February and April); the air is dried out by the Harmattan, a hot and dry trade wind from the Sahara that passes over the country from north to south.
There are no emergency services in the country.
Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz