Chad has declared a state of emergency following repeated attacks by Nigeria-based terror group Boko Haram. The decision was announced on Monday (10 November) following recent attacks and suicide bombings blamed on the militants that left at least six people dead.
Chad is part of an ongoing regional offensive aimed at curbing terrorism in the area. The country stepped up the fight against the terrorists after twin suicide bombings blamed on Boko Haram left dozens of people dead in the capital N'Djamena in June.
Chad has been pivotal in the recapture of territories previously controlled by Boko Haram, whose fight to establish an Islamic caliphate has resulted in the death of more than 17,000 people since the start of 2015. The group focuses its insurgency on northern Nigeria and northern Cameroon, with attacks also in Chad and Niger.
Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?
Boko Haram (recently renamed Iswap) fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law in the country.
The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.
Boko Haram has raided several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more territory. Three states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's attacks.
Communications Minister Hassan Sylla Bakari said the state of emergency would give authorities new powers to search and monitor residents in the area, Reuters reported. The country has not been under emergency since 2008 when there were attempts by Chadian rebels to overthrow President Idriss Deby.
A Nigeria-led task force – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – is to take over in the ongoing regional fight against the terrorists. In October, Niger also declared a state of emergency following repeated attacks blamed on the group in the region of Diffa.
The Nigerian government has declared that the terrorists were surrendering but the group has refuted the claims in an audio message. The voice identified in the broadcast is thought to belong to Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, who was rumoured to have been replaced due to his repeated absence from the group's videos.