During the Darfur crisis, France took many steps to support Chad, in order to find a political solution and address the regional dimension of this crisis, especially the security and humanitarian aspects, and to help the regions concerned: France initiated the Security Council resolution on the deployment of an international presence in eastern Chad and the north-east of the Central African Republic, operation EUFOR Tchad/RCA, to which it was the main contributor. This mission, in which around twenty countries participated, was a success for European security and defence policy. France then supported the aim of replacing EUFOR by a UN mission (March 2009).
France also supported inter-Chadian political dialogue prior to the 2011-2012 elections: it held observer status, with the EU, on the follow-up committee for the agreement of 13 August 2007, and it supported setting up a commission of inquiry to shed light on the events of February 2008 (rebel attack on N’Djamena, violence and disappearances).
Since 2010, Chad has enjoyed a period of stability enabling its development. France requested and obtained EU support to fund projects linked to the reform of the Chadian army (reduction of staff numbers and professional reintegration of former soldiers) and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR).
We also supported President Déby’s personal commitment to protecting Lake Chad, the level of which has fallen over the last twenty years. President Déby attended the World Water Forum in Marseille on 12 March 2012, where he appealed to international donors to finance some thirty projects to protect Lake Chad. France contributed to the mobilization of funds when these projects were presented, providing support of €800,000 via the French Global Environment Facility. President Déby made another appeal at the Rio+20 Conference on 21 June 2012. “The Climate Challenge and African Solutions”, a summit held on Tuesday, 1 December 2015 in the framework of COP21, was an opportunity to continue mobilizing donors, with a focus on three major African priorities, namely access to renewable energy, the Great Green Wall initiative and development of the Lake Chad basin.
In January 2013, Chad intervened in Mali in response to an appeal from the Malian authorities. The Chadian troops fought the terrorist groups in northern Mali alongside the forces of Operation Serval and suffered heavy losses. On 1 August 2014, France established the headquarters of Operation Barkhane in N’Djamena. This operation consists of 3,000 troops throughout the Sahel-Sahara region combating terrorist armed groups and any trafficking that might destabilize the countries concerned.
- Mr Sarkozy and Mr Kouchner visited Chad on 27 February 2008.
- On 21 and 22 November 2008, Mr Kouchner visited the east of the country. He attended the ceremonies for the transfer of authority between EUFOR and MINURCAT on 14 and 15 March 2009, in N’Djamena and Abéché.
- During private visits (16 October 2009 and 8 April 2010), President Déby met with his counterpart in Paris. He attended the Africa-France Summit in Nice (31 May - 1 June 2010) and the celebrations for the fiftieth anniversary of independence, on 13 and 14 July 2010 in Paris.
- Ms Idrac, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade, visited Chad in September 2010. Ms Létard, Minister of State for Green Technology and Climate Negotiations, visited on 31 October 2010, for the World Sustainable Development Forum devoted to saving Lake Chad.
- In January 2011, Mr Juppé, Minister for Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, attended the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Chad’s independence. In December 2011, Mr Laffineur, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, visited Chad.
- The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Fabius, met with President Déby in N’Djamena on 28 July 2012.
- President Déby met with Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic, on 5 December 2012 in Paris.
- On 21 March 2013, Mr Fabius met with his Chadian counterpart, Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat, in Paris.
- On 6 and 7 December 2013, President Déby travelled to Paris for the Elysée Summit for Peace and Security in Africa.
- In 2014, President Déby made two bilateral visits to France to meet with the President of the French Republic: first on 14 February 2014, then on 4 April, the day after the EU-Africa Summit. He visited a third time, on 17 May, to attend the Paris summit on the situation in Nigeria and the fight against Boko Haram.
- President Hollande met with President Déby in N’Djamena during his trip to Chad on 18 and 19 July 2014.
- The Prime Minister, Mr Manuel Valls, visited Chad on 22 November 2014, accompanied by Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, the Minister of Defence.
- During a regional tour devoted to the Boko Haram crisis, Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, visited N’Djamena on 21 February 2015.
- During working visits to France, President Déby met with the President of the French Republic on 14 May and 5 October 2015.
France is one of Chad’s main economic partners. Annual trade totals €160 million. The trade balance between France and Chad has improved thanks to the rise in French exports, which are mainly in the fields of pharmaceuticals, flour and cereals, electrical equipment, cars, and public works and civil engineering. Until 2012, the main French import from Chad was acacia gum; in 2013, oil became the main import. With stock of €101 million in 2012, France ranks third in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Chad, after the United States and China. Despite a relatively difficult business environment (Chad ranked 183rd out of 189 countries in the World Bank Doing Business rankings for 2015), around twenty subsidiaries of French companies are present in Chad and have development prospects, especially in the field of renewable energy.
France is Chad’s main bilateral donor (excluding humanitarian and food assistance) and there is extensive civil cooperation between the two countries.
In 2014, the commitments of the Agence française de développement (French Development Agency, AFD) in Chad totalled €17.5 million. Three projects are underway: one to support small businesses through a body called the “Maison de la Petite Entreprise”, one to support the healthcare sector in Chad, and one in the field of livestock watering. In 2013, two new Priority Solidarity Fund (FSP) projects were launched in the fields of governance support (increasing public policy accountability) and higher education and research.
In 1976, France and Chad signed a technical military cooperation agreement. In consultation with Chad’s civil and military authorities, France is shifting its approach from assistance to project-based partnership, with the aim of strengthening Chad’s military capabilities.
The main purpose of its action is to reorganize the Chadian National Army (ANT), with a focus on reintegrating demobilized military personnel, training (which remains the intangible basis of our action), and providing institutional support for the gendarmerie by strengthening the rule of law and healthcare, with support for the military teaching hospital. In the context of securing the territory and border surveillance, a project supporting the reorganization of the National and Nomadic Guard of Chad (GNNT) has been underway since summer 2007.
In addition, internal security cooperation was extended in autumn 2014 to include counter-terrorism, with France providing support to build Chad’s judicial and police capacities in this field.
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