Section of N'Djamena, showing demolitions that occurred between January and November 2008
(red outlines) and November 2008 and January 2009 (yellow outlines).
© Digital Globe 2009. All Rights Reserved. Produced by AIUSA.

On February 22, 2008, Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno issued a decree authorizing the destruction of what were called illegally constructed buildings and structures in several neighborhoods of Chad's capital, N'Djamena. Flouting the law and denying due process, the authorities did not consult residents before evicting them, and in many cases, residents were given little or no time to relocate.

Tens of thousands of people have been made homeless after being forcibly evicted from their homes since February 2008. These housing demolitions will have serious economic and social repercussions for years to come, as many people lost not only their place of business but also vital tools and materials during the demolition process.

Amnesty International used satellite imagery to illustrate the scale of destruction in some residential neighborhoods of N'Djamena. The images showed that close to 3,700 structures had been destroyed throughout the city since February 2008, giving a distressing picture of the pace of house demolitions in N'Djamena.


The satellite images supplemented the information gathered in research missions by Amnesty International delegates who visited N'Djamena in May 2008 and May 2009. Although the images alone cannot tell us which demolitions were legal and which violated both Chadian and international law, on the ground research confirmed that many evictions were illegal and in violation of international human rights standards and Chadian law. For example, the residents of Chagoua 2 lodged a complaint in court, which ruled that planned demolitions should cease, pending a final decision. Despite this order, the mayor of N'Djamena continued to demolish the houses. See image on the right. Chad
A block in the neighborhood of Chagoua 2 in January 2008 (left) and November 2008 (right). © 2009 DigitalGlobe. Produced by AIUSA.

Pictures from the Ground

Mme Dibie, aged 75, with neighbours in front of the ruins of her home in Farcha, N'Djamena
Mme Dibie, aged 75, with neighbours in front of the ruins of her home in Farcha, N'Djamena
         © Amnesty International
  Demolished houses in Chagoua 2, N'djamena, Chad.
Demolished houses in Chagoua 2, N'djamena, Chad
© Amnesty International