US embassy cable - 05NDJAMENA140

SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY: THE U.S. RECORD IN CHAD

Identifier: 05NDJAMENA140
Wikileaks: View 05NDJAMENA140 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ndjamena
Created: 2005-01-28 14:27:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PGOV PHUM PREF CD SU Human RIghts
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


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FM AMEMBASSY NDJAMENA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0872
INFO AMEMBASSY ABUJA 
AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 
AMEMBASSY BAMAKO 
AMEMBASSY DAKAR 
AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 
AMEMBASSY LONDON 
AMEMBASSY NIAMEY 
AMEMBASSY PARIS 
AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
USLO TRIPOLI 
USMISSION GENEVA 
UNCLAS  NDJAMENA 000140 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR DRL FOR HARVEY, INR, AF, AF/C, AF/SPG, PRM, 
USAID/OTI; LONDON AND PARIS FOR AFRICAWATCHERS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV, PHUM, PREF, CD, SU, Human RIghts 
SUBJECT: SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY: THE U.S. 
RECORD IN CHAD 
 
REF: STATE 267453 
 
1.  The Government's human rights record remains poor. 
Security forces committed extrajudicial killings and 
continued to intimidate the public.  The judiciary remained 
subject to executive interference.  Violence and societal 
discrimination against women were common.  The independent 
press occasionally experienced government interference. 
Landmines remain a key problem in northern Chad, where over 
one million mines are left over from the civil war.  Women,s 
rights and trafficking in persons are issues of concern. 
President Idriss Deby has ruled Chad since taking power in a 
1990 rebellion.  He was reelected President in May 2001. 
Fraud, vote rigging, and local irregularities marred the 2001 
presidential election and the April legislative elections. 
Currently, the Government is proceeding with amending the 
Constitution to allow for unlimited presidential terms.  If 
the public referendum on the amendments passes, Deby would be 
able to stand for election again in the next presidential 
elections in 2006. 
 
2.  The Embassy,s human rights objectives in Chad include 
strengthening respect for rule of law, professionalization of 
Chad's security forces, bolstering the judicial system and 
the independent media, the transparent management of the 
country's oil revenues, outreach to the Muslim community, 
advancing women's issues, and support for efforts to resolve 
the humanitarian crisis in eastern Chad.  The Embassy's 
strategy for improving Chad's human rights situation focuses 
on engaging directly with key government officials and 
improving interaction between the government and human rights 
groups.  Efforts are also being made to strengthen the 
credibility and capacity of civil society groups and 
governmental institutions in addressing human rights abuses, 
including involving them in the visits of high level U.S. 
Government officials.  The Embassy's goal is to help human 
rights groups and other civil society organizations become a 
resource for both the government and Chadian people on human 
rights issues.  In the absence of a US AID mission, the 
Embassy seeks funding from a number of sources to find ways 
to meet its goals.  An example of a low or no cost way of 
facilitating dialogue is that of creating opportunities for 
activists and government officials to interact together in 
professional and social settings.  A reception in honor of a 
Chadian human rights activist who won the Robert F. Kennedy 
Human Rights Prize was well-attended by government ministers, 
human rights activists, journalists, and opposition 
politicians. 
 
3.  The professionalization of Chad,s security forces is a 
key component of the U.S. Government,s strategy for 
improving the country,s record.  Department of Defense 
programs include the International Military Education and 
Training (IMET) and Counter Terrorism Fellowship Programs 
CTFP) at U.S. military facilities, where training on human 
rights is incorporated into the courses.   U.S. Marines 
trained 170 members of the Republican Guard in June and July 
in Chad.  In addition, 48 Chadian police officers and 
immigration officials received anti-terrorism training in the 
United States and Chad.  All training candidates were vetted 
through the Department of State,s screening system to ensure 
compliance with the Leahy Amendment.   The Embassy,s Public 
Affairs Section held a public seminar on the role of the 
military in a democracy.  The U.S. Government also funds 
de-mining activities in northern Chad. 
 
4.  The U.S. is using direct contact with Chadian soldiers, 
including training and visits by U.S. Government officials, 
and the sharing of information on human rights violations 
with high level Chadian government officials to emphasize the 
importance of working together on human rights.  The annual 
human rights report is being used as a basis for 
collaboration.  To date, Chadian government officials have 
been candid and responsive.  Visiting Congressional 
delegations have supported the Embassy's human rights agenda. 
 
5.  Human rights activists and government officials 
acknowledge that strengthening Chad,s weak judicial system 
is critical to addressing human rights violations in a 
 
 
systematic and meaningful way.  To this end, the Embassy is 
using Economic Support funds to provide manual typewriters 
and copies of relevant legal codes to the courts as well as 
training for magistrates.  The Public Affairs Section 
sponsored an International Visitors Program on the U.S. 
judicial system.  The Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF) 
is being used to support legal assistance to victims of human 
rights abuses through the non-governmental Droits de l'Homme 
Sans Frontiers.  Several government ministries expressed 
support for the program and offered their assistance to DHSF 
if needed. 
 
6.  To strengthen the Chadian media's ability to promote 
human rights and good governance, Economic Support Funds are 
being used to provide equipment and training to print and 
broadcast journalists.  A DHRF grant funded the creation of a 
private radio station in the far north.  A training workshop 
was held for Arabic media with a speaker from Voice of 
America.  The Embassy interacts regularly with the Chadian 
media and facilitates coverage of U.S. Government events. 
 
7.  U.S. Government support for good governance and 
transparency also included an International Visitor Program 
on Grassroots Democracy for Young Leaders, a speaker program 
on the links between good governance, accountability, and 
transparency, and a book program on how to fight corruption. 
In addition, the U.S. Treasury continues to provide technical 
assistance to the Oil Revenue Management College, the 
accountability mechanism which is reviewing the projects 
financed by Chadian oil revenues.  The Ambassador hosted a 
U.S. election coverage event that was widely attended by 
government officials, Chadian political parties, and 
journalists.  At this event and in meetings between Chadian 
government officials, Embassy officers and visiting 
delegations emphasized the importance of the election process 
in sustaining democratic transitions. 
 
8.  The promotion of civil rights and civil liberties is 
being funded by the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HDRF). 
The funding for a bi-weekly radio broadcast covering a wide 
range of human rights issues and civil liberties and civil 
rights education will be the first of its kind in Chad.  The 
program "The Right To Know" will be shared with other radio 
stations and translated into several local languages to help 
increase public awareness of their basic rights.  The talk 
show will be supported by town hall meetings in several 
cities to encourage discussion between citizens and their 
local government and security officials on their rights. 
 
9.  The U.S. Government,s Muslim outreach programs continue. 
 The Embassy supported a program promoting bilingualism with 
the Al Mouna Center, a respected organization which promotes 
cross-cultural understanding.  A week-long speaker program in 
Abeche, eastern Chad, with an American imam sparked a great 
deal of interest and exchange of information with Chadian 
Muslims.  This visit advanced religious freedom through the 
promotion of dialogue between faiths and among Muslims on key 
human rights issues.  The Embassy used funding from ACCESS to 
fund microscholarships for 75 children as part of its efforts 
to reach out to underserved populations. 
 
10.  The Embassy has provided several grants for the purpose 
of eliminating the practice of Female Genital Mutilation 
(FGM).  Its support to a local NGO resulted in the drafting 
and enactment of a law which criminalizes FGM, and in FY 
2004, it funded an education program to publicize and 
distribute copies of the law.  The Public Diplomacy Section 
held a panel discussion on female genital mutilation and 
gender and development in an effort to promote women's 
rights.  The visit of an American imam to eastern Chad also 
promoted a better understanding of women's rights and 
equality issues under Islam.  In addition, embassy officers 
engaged government and non-governmental organizations on 
trafficking in persons and began planning to facilitate a 
child protection network to bring together concerned 
government officials, police, and non-governmental 
organizations on a range of issues affecting children.  The 
promotion of girls' education has also been a focus of the 
Embassy's efforts during the 2000-2004 period, using funds 
 
 
from the Ambassador's Girls Scholarship Program to encourage 
the education of girls.  During the 2003/2004 school year, an 
estimated 5,000 elementary school girls and their families 
received support under this program, and the rate of female 
attendance at the 60 pilot schools where the program was 
implemented increased significantly.  In addition, Embassy 
employees are funding school tuition for a group young girls. 
 Congressional visitors have also met with key officials and 
non-governmental organizations on women's issues and HIV/AIDS. 
 
11.  The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan deeply 
affects Chad.  Over 200,000 refugees have sought safety in 
eastern Chad and the United States is the largest donor to 
the ongoing humanitarian efforts.  In July and August, the 
U.S. Government undertook a comprehensive survey of Sudanese 
refugees in Chad, which resulted in the Darfur Atrocities 
Report and Secretary of State Powell's finding that genocide 
is occurring in Sudan.  In addition, the Embassy is an active 
participant in the implementation of the Darfur Humanitarian 
Cease-fire Agreement, which includes monthly meetings of a 
Joint Commission.  The Embassy has contributed personnel to 
the Inter-Sudanese Peace Talks on Darfur and remains a key 
interlocutor with the Government of Chad, the rebel 
movements, and the African Union on the Darfur peace process. 
 The Embassy has also facilitated the work of human rights 
organizations and non-governmental organizations working on 
protection issues for refugee women and children. 
 
12.  Khartoum and Tripoli Minimize Considered. 
WALL 
 
 
NNNN 

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