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Yearbook 1998

Chad. Chad and Cameroon agreed in January to begin work on a pipeline from the oil fields in southern Chad to the Cameroonian Atlantic coast. But before oil production can start, political unrest in the south must cease; during the year there were both kidnappings and civil disputes between government forces and rebels.

1998 Chad

In March, human rights organizations blamed the government's security forces for summary executions of civilians in the country's southwest, and rebels were said to treat the locals barbarously. Seven human rights organizations subsequently got their offices in the capital, N'Djamena, surrounded by police, which forced them to cease their activities.

According to Countryaah, Libyan leader Muammar al-Khadaffi was very active during the year in linking the countries of the Sahara and the Sahel region, among others. Chad, in close cooperation with Libya. In May, the country was visited by al-Khadaffi and the leaders of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, all members of the economic cooperation body Comessa. al-Khadaffi's visit was preceded by opposition protests and violent student demonstrations.

In May, for the second year in a row, the government signed a ceasefire with the FARF guerrillas, the leading rebel movement in the south. The previous agreement did not hold.

One of the opposition MPs was sentenced in July to three years in prison and fined since he made bribery charges against the President of Parliament.

In September, the government sent at least 1,000 soldiers to Congo (Kinshasa) to participate on the government side in the civil war. The Chadians suffered severe defeats, and according to the rebels, about 200 Chadian soldiers were killed and many were taken prisoner. The Chadian opposition called on the government to take home the remaining troops.

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