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Armed Movements in Chad

Last modified: 2013-08-03 by ian macdonald
Keywords: chad | frolinat | logone | northern army | rdl |
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Frolinat and Logone flags out of use. New flags are currently in use for the diverse factions.
Jaume Ollé 13 December 2000

Front National du Tchad Rénové (FNTR)

FNTR flag image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2006

I am reporting here the flag of one of the "politico-military" movements involved in the recent troubles in Chad. The political situation is extremely complicated there, with permanent struggle between the regime and the opposition and permanent struggle within the opposition, and weapons everywhere. There are, therefore, several more or less short-lived movements. Following the situation is complicated by the paucity of independent and reliable information and the constant intrusion of France, Sudan and Libya (at least in the past) in the affairs of Chad.
The Front National du Tchad Rénové (FNTR) was created in Brussels on 3 April 1996 by the extraordinary assembly of the leaders and the representatives of the Front National du Tchad (FNT); it was decided that FNTR would succeed FNT.
The FNTR is presided by Mahamat Moussa. Its official journal is "Al Wihda", founded in France and still directed by the historical leader of the FNTR Ahmat Yacoub. "Al Wihda" is considered as the newspaper representing all the opposition movements to President of the Republic Idriss Déby but they did not mind interviewing Déby. Yacoub was an opponent to Hissene Habré and came back to Chad in 1990 when Déby overthrew Habré; it took him not too long to go back into the opposition.
The FNTR is member of the Front Uni pour la Démocratie et la Paix (FUDP), the union of several organizations (FNTR, MDJT, ADR, CPR, RPJS, CNR...) created in June 2003 and opposed to the regime of Déby. In November 2003, the FUDP met representatives of the regime in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso). Since Déby refused to withdraw his project of modification of the Constitution, which would allow him to compete for a third mandate, the FNTR withdrew from the negociation process.
The Constitution was eventually modified. In April 2007, three weeks before the presidential election, the military units of the Front Uni pour le Changement Démocratique (FUC, probably the union succeding the FUDP!) marched against the capital city N'Djaména. The FNTR is a member of the FUC and claims to station 1,700 fighters on the border with Sudan. The attack failed and Déby said it was a suicide operation backed by Sudan. The failure was caused, pro parte, by dissensions within the FUC, from which three out of its eight members have withdrawn. The FUC includes now the FNTR, the RDL, the CDR, the CNT and the FIDEL. Those that left are the SCUD, the FRRRT and the 8 December Movement.
All the opposition movements shall meet soon under the aegis of the Coordination des Mouvements Armés et Partis Politiques de l’Opposition Tchadienne/Dialogue et Démocratie (CMAP/DD).
The flag of FNTR is described in the statutes of the party, available on the party website as follows:

Article 4 : Embleme.
L’embleme est une étoile sur un fond triangle noir indiquant la transparence de la cause meme en pleine nuit, avec une partie verte supérieure (le Développement) et une partie blanche inférieure (la Paix).
Translated: "The emblem is a [white] star on a black triangle symbolizing the transparency of the cause even in a black night, with a green upper part (development) and a white lower part (peace)."
In other words the flag is horizontally divided green-white with a black triangle charged with a white star placed along the hoist. The flag can be seen hanging on the wall during a meeting of the FNTR on the movement website (picture taken in 2002).
Sources: Ivan Sache, 1 May 2006


FROLINAT flag image by Jaume Ollé
FROLINAT flag image by Ivan Sashe

The FROLINAT (Front de Libération Nationale du Tchad - Chad National Liberation Front) was a rebel movement founded by Abba Siddick in 1966. It was supported by muslim people of northern Tchad and was in revolt against President Tombalbaye. In 1967-79 it controlled the north of Tchad. In 1978 a faction of FROLINAT (led by Hissene Habre) entered the government in Ndjamena. Habre overthrew the new president Malloun (1975-79).
Jaume Ollé

Another source claims that Frolinat was founded in Sudan by Ibrahama Abatcha on 22 June 1966. In the Flags of Aspirant Peoples [asp] chart the blue version is given. Ivan Sashe comments: Green stripe would me "more" Muslim, but blue stripe could refer to Tuaregs. when they fought against the pro-French regim, they were known as "Toubou rebells", from the name of the main ethny. Toubous are considered as "black tuaregs" but they are not berberophons, but nilo-chadophones.

I received today an article from a Catalan, that was a fighter of Frolinat and an old member of the Revolution Council of the Frolinat, and now is consul of Tchad in Barcelona. He have some dates about revolutionary flags in Tchad, and its interesed in the topic. He asked me for contact. He say that the flag hoisted in Faya (Faya Largeau) when the city was conquered by Frolinat, was manufactured and embroideried in Barcelona, and taken to Tchad by him. This man is a well know reporter, lawyer and adverturier, that appear in several TV programs and that was famous by his reports about the Tchad civil war. A first article from him will appear in Flag Report [frp] number 35.
Jaume Ollé, 17 March 2003

In other hand the Frolinat member that contacted me is already send me information, with many flags, emblems and details about a douzaine of revolutionary movements in Tchad. One of the flags, Peoples Forces, was designed by him from request of Gukuni Ouedei, and show a V of victory formed by kalashnikovs. Also he is waiting the visit of the old chief of Staff in times of Gukuni Oueddei that are both close friends of him, for ask him about more flags. Unluckely he dont know the flags of Baguirmi and Waddai if any, but from the last one he know a member of the royal family that will travel to Barcelona in next months and perhaps I can obtain any information from him. As far he know the Derdei of Tibesti dont use a special flag (he was guess of the Derdei of Tibesti, phater of his friend Gukuni Oueddei) or at less he dont see never any flag. Derdei title is more like a spiritual leader or a Judge, and dont enjoy of the attributes of sovereignity. The title is not hereditary, but change between two families (a member of a family has the title while live, then pass to a member of the second family while live, then come back to the first family, etc...)
Jaume Ollé, 19 March 2003

Northern Army

Forces du Nord

[Forces du Nord] image by Joan-Francés Blanc
[Forces Armees du Nord]  image by Ivan Sashe

In August 1979 another faction, the Peoples Armed Forces, led by Goukouni Oue. The rebel army formed a coalition government. Its troops became the Northern Army (Forces du Nord). Colors according to W. Crampton. [See also AZAWAD - Tuareg Liberation Front of Mali].
Joan-Francés Blanc, 13 November 1996

FAN (Forces Armee's du Nord - Northern Armed Forces) - were founded by Hissein Habre by a scission of FROLINAT leaded by Goukouni Oueddei.

So "People Armed Forces" and "Northern Army" may refer to the same entity, the FAN. They were not separatists but fought for the power in Chad and got it for a time. Same colour problem as for Frolinat.


[Republic of Logone]  image by Ivan Sashe

The Flags of Aspirant Peoples chart show the flag of the "aspirant" Republic of Logone in southern Chad as horizontal black-yellow-red. Logone is a river in the South of Chad, and two prefectures (East- and West-) use its name. The South of Chad has been in quasi-permanent insurrection state against the N'Djamena successive rulers (Tombalbaye, Habre, Oueddei...). The flag looks quite Ugandese.
Ivan Sashe, 12 Sep 1999


The southern prefectures then appointed in May 1979 a Sara-dominated de facto government, the Comite Permanent, as a separate political entity. It was headed by Kamougue, who had taken the place of Malloum as the dominant southern representative.
About the year 1982, they say quoting Logone:
Lieutenant Colonel Kamougue in the south, meanwhile, still had forces under arms, and many southerners were threatening secession from Chad due to their opposition to the northern Habre. Kamoughe's plans to secede from Chad and form and independent Republic of Logone were foiled by desertions among his FAT forces. FAN troops pressed south against Kamougue, and FAT troops defected in increasing numbers. Kamoughe himself was driven to take refuge in Cameron, while FAN and FAT forces were united in December of 1982 to form a new national army, the Forces Armees Nationales Tchadiennes (FANT). The gendarmerie was dissolved and replaced by military police, and compulsory military service was dictated.
Found by Jaume Ollé 1 Spetember 2002

RDL - Rally for Democracy and Freedom

The very recent rebel group is the RDL (Rassemnlement pour la Démocratie et les Libertes - Rally for Democracy and Freedom). Formed by defected soldiers, RDL is commanded by an ex-captain named Abdelkerim and confront current government of Tchad from its bases in Sudanese province of Darfur.

The picture shows two kind of different flags with a white background or yellow background with a circular badge in the center

Santiago Tazón, 19 December 2005