Preparations are underway for voting in the Presidential elections in Chad. Five million people are entitled to take part, and papers must be delivered to 220 polling stations across the country, ready for voting in a fortnight.
The last few months have been particularly turbulent ones in the landlocked state, Africa’s fifth largest. Dozens of people have been injured in rebel attacks on the capital, N’Djamena. In addition, 200 thousand refugees have sought refuge in Chad from rebel fighting in neighbouring Sudan.
Meanwhile, the country is embroiled in a dispute with the World Bank over its fledgling oil industry. Landlocked Chad has broken off diplomatic relations with Sudan following the rebel attacks of the last week. Chad claims that the violence was propagated by Sudan, although the Sudanese authorities deny this. Humanitarian sources say dozens have been injured in the rebel fighting, but cannot confirm government claims of many deaths. President Idriss Déby has said that the ongoing disorder will not derail the elections, due to be held on May the 3rd.