[JURIST] The UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] Kyung-wha Kang [official profile] said Wednesday that Chad has made significant progress [press release] in its human rights improvements, but that the Chadian government must continue to work on key shortcomings in order to ensure the rights of its citizens. Kang cited food insecurity, violence against women, forced evictions and problems in the judicial system as important issues that must be addressed. She noted that Chad successfully implemented many of the recommendations of a UN inquiry human rights violations in the country during a conflict in February 2008, but stressed that there was still progress to be made:
This is a crucial time for human rights in the country. ... The difficulties Chad has faced for many years are severe but they are not insurmountable, the Government has a difficult task in improving the human rights situation in the country and my discussions during my visit have convinced me of their political will to do so. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights stands ready to help in any way we can.Kang stressed that the UN and the international community must continue to offer support to Chad in its efforts to improve human rights conditions.
In February 2008 Amnesty International [advocacy website] accused the Chadian government [JURIST report] of using its declared state of emergency to clamp down on journalists and members of peaceful opposition parties. Chadian President Idriss Deby [BBC profile] had declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] a week earlier, citing increased violence between government forces and rebels in the capital city of N'Djamena. Earlier that month, then-UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour urged the Chadian government and rebel forces to follow humanitarian law and respect human rights [JURIST report] as fighting continued for a fourth day after rebels entered the capital city of N'Djamena in an attempt to overthrow Deby. An estimated 20,000 civilians fled the capital [NYT report] as the violence escalated.