Foreign relations of Chad
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politics and government of
The foreign relations of Chad are motivated primarily by the desire for outside investment in Chadian industry and support for Chadian President Idriss Déby. Chad is officially non-aligned but has close relations with France, the former colonial power. Relations with neighbouring Libya, and Sudan vary periodically. Lately, the Idris Déby regime has been waging an intermittent proxy war with Sudan. Aside from those two countries, Chad generally enjoys good relations with its neighbouring states.
Relations with other African and Arab states
Although relations with Libya improved with the presidency of Idriss Déby, strains persist. Chad has been an active champion of regional cooperation through the Central African Economic and Customs Union, the Lake Chad and Niger River Basin Commissions, and the Interstate Commission for the Fight Against the Drought in the Sahel.
Delimitation of international boundaries in the vicinity of Lake Chad, the lack of which led to border incidents in the past, has been completed and awaits ratification by Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria.
Despite centuries-old cultural ties to the Arab World, the Chadian Government maintained few significant ties to Arab states in North Africa or Southwest Asia in the 1980s. However, Chad has not recognised the State of Israel since former Chadian President François (Ngarta) Tombalbaye broke off relations in September 1972 as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians, and other Arabs under Israeli occupation. President Habré hoped to pursue closer relations with Arab states as a potential opportunity to break out of his Chad's post-imperial dependence on France, and to assert Chad's unwillingness to serve as an arena for superpower rivalries. In addition, as a northern Christian, Habré represented a constituency that favored co-operation and solidarity with Arabs, both African, and Asian. For these reasons, he was expected to seize opportunities during the 1990s to pursue closer ties with the Arab World. In 1988, Chad recognized the State of Palestine, which maintains a mission in N'Djamena.
During the 1980s, Arab opinion on the Chadian-Libyan conflict over the Aozou Strip was divided. Several Arab states supported Libyan territorial claims to the Strip, among the most outspoken of which was Algeria, which provided training for anti-Habré forces, although most recruits for its training programs were from Nigeria or Cameroon, recruited and flown to Algeria by Libya. Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party also sent troops to support Qadhafi's efforts against Chad in 1987. In contrast, numerous other Arab states opposed the Libyan actions, and expressed their desire to see the dispute over the Aozou Strip settled peacefully. By the end of 1987, Algiers and N'Djamena were negotiating to improve relations.
On December 24, 2005, Chad declared itself as in a "state of belligerance" with neighboring Sudan. The conflict in the border region of Darfur has become an increasingly bi-national affair as increasing numbers of Sudanese flee to refugee camps in Chad, and Sudanese government troops and militias cross the borders to strike at both these camps and specific ethnic groups. Although the Government of Chad and the Government of Sudan signed the Tripoli Agreement on February 8, 2006, officially ending hostilities, fighting continues. On 11 August 2006, Chad and Sudan resumed relations at the behest of Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi.
Chad broke diplomatic relations with Sudan at least twice in 2006 because it believed the Sudanese government was supporting Janjaweed and UFDC rebels financially and with arms. Two accords were signed, the Tripoli Accord, which was signed on February 8 and failed to end the fighting, and the more recently signed N'Djamena Agreement. On May 11, 2008 Sudan announced it was cutting diplomatic relations with Chad, claiming that it was helping rebels in Darfur to attack the Sudanese capital Khartoum.
Chadian-Libyan relations were ameliorated when Libyan-supported Idriss Déby unseated Habré on December 2. Gaddafi was the first head of state to recognize the new regime, and he also signed treaties of friendship and cooperation on various levels; but regarding the Aouzou Strip Déby followed his predecessor, declaring that if necessary he would fight to keep the strip out of Libya's hands.
The Aouzou dispute was concluded for good on February 3, 1994, when the judges of the ICJ by a majority of 16 to 1 decided that the Aouzou Strip belonged to Chad. The court's judgement was implemented without delay, the two parties signing as early as April 4 an agreement concerning the practical modalities for the implementation of the judgement. Monitored by international observers, the withdrawal of Libyan troops from the Strip began on April 15 and was completed by May 10. The formal and final transfer of the Strip from Libya to Chad took place on May 30, when the sides signed a joint declaration stating that the Libyan withdrawal had been effected.
Nigeria's 1983 economic austerity campaign produced strains with neighboring states, including Chad. Nigeria expelled several hundred thousand foreign workers, mostly from its oil industry, which faced drastic cuts as a result of declining world oil prices. At least 30,000 of those expelled were Chadians. Despite these strains, however, Nigerians had assisted in the halting process of achieving stability in Chad, and both nations reaffirmed their intention to maintain close ties.
Relations with Western countries
Chad is officially non-aligned but has close relations with France, the former colonial power, which has about 1,200 troops stationed in the capital N'Djamena. It receives economic aid from countries of the European Community, the United States, and various international organizations. Libya supplies aid and has an ambassador resident in N'Djamena. Traditionally strong ties with the Western community have weakened over the past two years due to a dispute between the Government of Chad and the World Bank over how the profits from Chad's petroleum reserves are allocated. Although oil output to the West has resumed and the dispute has officially been resolved, resentment towards what the Déby administration considered foreign meddling lingers.
France was Chad's most important foreign donor and patron for the first three decades following independence in 1960. At the end of the 1980s, economic ties were still strong, and France provided development assistance in the form of loans and grants. It was no longer Chad's leading customer for agricultural exports, but it continued to provide substantial military support.
Chad remained a member of the African Financial Community (Communauté Financière Africaine—CFA), which linked the value of its currency, the CFA franc, to the French franc. French private and government investors owned a substantial portion of Chad's industrial and financial institutions, and the French treasury backed the Bank of Central African States (Banque des Etats de l'Afrique Centrale—BEAC), which served as the central bank for Chad and six other member nations. Chad's dependence on France declined slightly during Habré's tenure as president, in part because other foreign donors and investors returned as the war subsided and also because increased rainfall since 1985 improved food production. French official attitudes toward Chad had changed from the 1970s policies under the leadership of Giscard d'Estaing to those of the Mitterrand era of the 1980s. Economic, political, and strategic goals, which had emphasized maintaining French influence in Africa, exploiting Chad's natural resources, and bolstering francophone Africa's status as a bulwark against the spread of Soviet influence, had been replaced by nominally anticolonialist attitudes. The election in France of the Socialist government in 1981 had coincided with conditions of near-anarchy in Chad, leading France's Socialist Party to reaffirm its ideological stance against high-profile intervention in Africa. Hoping to avoid a confrontation with Libya, another important client state in the region, President Mitterrand limited French military involvement to a defense of the region surrounding N'Djamena in 1983 and 1984. Then, gradually increasing its commitment to reinforce Habré's presidency, France once again increased its military activity in Chad.
The American embassy in N'Djamena, established at Chadian independence in 1960, was closed from the onset of the heavy fighting in the city in 1980 until the withdrawal of the Libyan forces at the end of 1981. It was reopened in January 1982. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Information Service (USIS) offices resumed activities in Chad in September 1983. The United States Department of State issued a travel advisory to U.S. citizens in 2009, recommending that citizens not affiliated with humanitarian efforts avoid all travel to eastern Chad and the Chad/Central African Republic border area due to insecurity caused by banditry, recent clashes between Chadian government and rebel forces, and political tension between Chad and Sudan.
Chad–Romania relations were established on 15 July 1969. However, neither country has an embassy in the other's capital, and although an agreement on trade was signed in 1969, followed by an agreement on economic and technical cooperation in 1971, as of 2007[update], the volume of bilateral trade remained insignificant.
In November 2007, Romania announced that they would deploy 120 troops to Chad and the Central African Republic in connection with a European Union peacekeeping mission there. Romania continued to condemn violence in Chad and blamed it on rebel groups. However, by mid-2008, Romanian defence minister Teodor Meleşcanu indicated that his country would not send further troops to the mission in Chad, stating that they had reached their limits and did not want involvement in a war theatre.
Relations with Asian countries
Chad and Taiwan had relations from 1962 to 1972 and 1997 to 2006 when, for financial and security reasons, Chad announced its intention to recognize China. Taiwan broke off relations with Chad on August 5, 2006 (hours before a scheduled official visit by Premier Su Tseng-chang) and Chad formally recognized the PRC on August 6.
Membership of international organizations
Chad belongs to the following international organizations:
- "Chad and Sudan resume relations". BBC News. August 9, 2006.
- Sudan cuts Chad ties over attack
- "Chad The Devil Behind the Scenes", Time, 1990-12-17
- M. Azevedo, p. 150
- G. Simons, p. 78
- "Travel Warning - Chad". U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. June 2, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2009.
- Republica CIAD, Romania: Minister of Foreign Affairs, May 2008, retrieved 2009-03-26
- "Romanian prime minister approves mission to Chad", EUBusiness.com, AFP, 2008-01-30, retrieved 2009-03-26[dead link]
- "Romanian Foreign Ministry concerned about developments in Chad", BBC News, 2008-02-05, retrieved 2009-03-26
- "Romania not sending troops to 2009 EU Chad mission", BBC News, 2008-07-01, retrieved 2009-03-26
- Çadi njeh Republikën e Kosovës, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, 2012-05-01 (in Albanian)