Soldiers of Fortune: The future of Chadian fighters after the Libyan ceasefire

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About this talk

In the Sahel and central Sahara, armed actor involvement in the region’s illicit markets have been key contributors to cyclical instability there. Chadian fighters have long been key actors within the constellation of armed groups active in the region, but the October 2020 ceasefire in Libya – and the ensuing drop in fighting – are reshaping the role that they play in regional illicit markets and stability dynamics.

Chadian fighters first emerged as key actors challenging peace and security in Libya while fighting as mercenaries there after the fall of Qaddafi in 2011. However, the consolidation of their peacetime involvement in Sahelian illicit economies since mid-2020 poses a more enduring, widespread, and unpredictable form of instability.

This report’s release is timed to coincide with the planned government-led ‘national dialogue’ which will discuss the future of rebel armed groups in Chad and should pave the way for elections. It makes the case for the need to provide a safe corridor for Chadian fighters to return to Chad to prevent further destabilisation of the wider Sahel and Central Sahara region.

Alexandre Bish

Research Manager, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Alice Fereday

Senior Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime

Jalel Harchaoui

Senior Fellow, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime