University of Minnesota

Conclusions and recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination, Chad, U.N. Doc. A/48/18, paras. 162-171 (1993).




Forty-second session


Concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination


162. At its 980th and 983rd meetings, held on 17 and 18 March 1993 (see CERD/C/SR.980 and 983), the Committee reviewed the implementation of the Convention by Chad based on its previous report (CERD/C/114/Add.2) and its consideration by the Committee (see CERD/C/SR.838). The Committee noted that no report had been received since 1986.

163. The representative of the State party explained that during the previous dictatorial regime of President Hissène Habré, there had been many discriminatory policies in favour of the Goranes, the tribe of the President. During the years of dictatorship, 1982 to 1990, more than 40,000 persons had been killed, more than 80,000 children orphaned, more than 30,000 women widowed and more than 200,000 persons deprived of material and moral support. The new democratic Government had initiated a number of steps in an effort to establish the rule of law and guarantee respect for human rights. Among the measures adopted were the establishment, by Decree No. 14/P-CE/CJ/90, of a commission to investigate crimes committed under the dictatorship. The post of Minister for Humanitarian Affairs had recently been established with a view to creating the conditions necessary for the exercise of human rights, coordinating humanitarian undertakings, monitoring respect for human rights and educating the general public in that regard, and providing a mechanism for reparations to victims of human rights abuses. Additionally, the newly created National Human Rights Commission investigated reports of human rights abuses, including torture, disappearances and arbitrary detention, and promoted human rights education. Fundamental human rights were now guaranteed in the new Charter of the Republic, which had been adopted in March 1991 under Decree No. 001/PR/91. Lastly, the Government had taken the necessary steps to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

164. The representative of the State party assured the Committee that there were no political prisoners in Chad and no journalists in detention. There had not been a state of emergency since 1 December 1992. The present Government was doing everything possible to restore peace in the country following 30 years of civil war. Although Chad had not been represented during the deliberations of the Committee since 1986, it would be in the future.

165. Members of the Committee welcomed the presence of the representative of Chad and expressed their satisfaction with the re-establishment of a dialogue with that State party. The representative had provided the Committee with much useful information. However, there were still many areas which required further clarification. In particular, members of the Committee wished to have more information regarding the size of the various ethnic groups in Chad and the extent to which their economic, social and cultural rights were respected. In that connection, the results of the 1993 census should be communicated to the Committee by the Government. Members of the Committee stated that steps needed to be taken to assist the various ethnic groups with regard to culture, education and their social welfare. Members of the Committee expressed their concern over the reported persecution of the Hajerai ethnic group, which had been closely associated with the previous regime. Information was also needed on whether vulnerable ethnic groups were adequately represented in the new National Commission on Human Rights.

166. Members of the Committee invited the State party to follow up the dialogue by submitting a new report which would conform to the Committee's revised general guidelines for the submission of reports.

167. In his reply, the representative of the State party stated that Chad counted among its population no less than 110 tribes. He assured members of the Committee that racial discrimination was not a tradition in Chad. During the previous regime, an attempt had been made to create divisions in the country between north and south, between Christians and Muslims and between French speakers and Arab speakers. All of those discriminatory practices had since been terminated. At present, there were 33 political parties in Chad. In order to prevent the rise of tribalism, each party was required by law to have membership in at least 10 of the country's 14 regions. The Hajerai ethnic group had been reintegrated; those persons who had been arrested in the clashes of October 1991 had been released.

168. Further responses to the questions posed by members of the Committee would be contained in the next report submitted by Chad.

Provisional concluding observation 4/

4/ At its 980th meeting, held on 17 March 1993, the Committee decided to adopt provisional concluding observations pending the submission by Chad of its promised report and the consideration of that report by the Committee.

169. The Committee welcomed the presence of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs of Chad, who had come to present his Government's point of view, thus demonstrating Chad's willingness to reopen the dialogue with the Committee after many years of silence.

170. The Committee took note with satisfaction of the commitment made by the representative of Chad to submit the written periodic report in the prescribed manner at the next session and reiterated its offer of the advisory services of the Centre for Human Rights to assist Chad in preparing the report, if it so wished.

171. The Committee emphasized the particular importance it attached, during the country's present transition period, to the measures taken by the Government of Chad to consolidate the rule of law and to prevent the return of any dictatorial regime or of any policies of discrimination or repression against particular ethnic groups.




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