Nearly 900 fighters affiliated with the Chadian rebel group UFDD returned to the country to participate in the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) process. In 2008, the UFDD had come close to overthrowing Idriss Déby, reaching N’Djamena before being forced into retreat.
The fighters are currently stationed near Faya-Largeau, awaiting their cantonment, with several hundred more members of the group expected to follow suit soon. This repatriation is a direct outcome of the Doha Agreement signed in August 2022 by the leader of the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development, Mahamat Nouri.
According to the UFDD, nearly 900 fighters and around a hundred vehicles had been assembled by the group’s headquarters in southern Libya. On Tuesday morning, they arrived in Oumoul, a locality about 40 kilometers from Faya-Largeau, where Mahamat Nouri has been residing for several months. Welcoming his men, the group’s founder hailed it as a “step towards genuine peace and the rebuilding of a united, strong, and prosperous Chadian nation.”
Mahamat Nouri was a key signatory of the Doha Agreement in August 2022, enabling his return to Chad. Since then, the UFDD has actively participated in the transitional process: its vice-president, Mahamat Assileck Halata, serves as the Minister of Urbanism, and two other members have joined the Parliament.
The returning fighters still have a journey of nearly 600 kilometers to reach their cantonment zone at the military training center in Moussoro. As part of the DDR process, some may join the military, while others may be integrated into various roles such as police, customs, government administrations, or reintegrate into civilian life.
Mahamat Assileck Halata indicates that another contingent of 400 fighters is expected to follow soon, and the UFDD is actively working to gather several dozen others scattered between Sudan, Niger, and the Central African Republic. The repatriation and reintegration of UFDD fighters mark a significant step toward stability and national reconciliation in Chad.