Country Listing

Chad Table of Contents


Police Services


Presidential Guard officers in Presidential Palace compound
Courtesy Joseph Krull

Police functions in Chad were the responsibility of the National Military Police (Police Militaire Nationale--PMN), the Territorial Military Police (Police Militaire Territoriale--PMT), and the National Security Police, known as the Sûreté. Certain internal security, intelligence, and antiterrorism operations were conducted by the Presidential Guard (Sécurité Presiclentielle--Sp). The Bureau of Documentation and Security (Direction de la Documentation et de la Sécurité--DDS) was a separate intelligence organization and political police force that sometimes engaged in covert operations against opponents of the government. The Special Rapid Intervention Brigade performed similar functions within the military, although it was controlled by the DDS and was not formally part of FANT.

The Sûreté was originally part of a unified force that, until 1961, served all four countries of the former AEF. With about 800 agents, the Sûreté constituted the national civil police and the municipal police force of the major towns. Its duties included maintenance of law and order, crime prevention, maintenance of criminal records and identification files, investigations and arrests, and traffic control.

Until 1979 the National Gendarmerie, a paramilitary body created in 1960, had primary responsibility for maintaining order in the countryside. The force had remained under the command of a French officer until 1971. Later, in 1979, headed by Habré's political rival, Kamougué, and composed mainly of southerners, the National Gendarmerie had been involved in the fighting around N'Djamena. It remained active as part of the southern resistance to Habré after the overthrow of the Malloum regime. The National Gendarmerie's basic units were twenty-five-man mobile platoons, which had responsibility for internal security and crowd control, and "brigades" (squads) of four to eight gendarmes, who performed ordinary police work in small towns and rural areas. Another force, the paramilitary Chadian Security Companies (Compagnies Tchadiens de Sécurité--CTS), organized by Tombalbaye in 1967, performed mainly constabulary functions in eastern Chad against smugglers, cattle rustlers, and dissidents. The CTS resisted the 1975 coup that overthrew Tombalbaye, and it was subsequently disbanded.

To replace the National Gendarmerie, the 1979 GUNT coalition formed a police unit of soldiers drawn from FAN and FAP, with token contributions from the other military factions. Mixed military patrols attempted to maintain order in the capital among the contending factions. After the Habré government had been installed in 1982, most of the previous functions of the National Gendarmerie were entrusted to the newly created PMT. Many of the latter's personnel were southerners who had rallied to the government; it was often popularly referred to as the "gendarmerie."

In 1987 the PMT had an authorized strength of 1,600, but its personnel were poorly equipped, often armed with weapons confiscated from former codos. The PMT was nominally subject to the Ministry of Interior, and its field units were subject to the local prefect. In practice, the force came under military authority, and individual units were under jurisdiction of FANT military zone and subzone commanders.

The PMN, which in 1987 was under a military commander, Youssef Galmaye, was a branch of FANT; the force performed regular military police duties, assisted in control of prisoners of war, provided route and rear area security, and often took part in combat operations. Its authorized strength was 1,900, and the soldiers serving in it were better equipped than those of the PMT. Training was provided at a military police school organized by the French in 1986.

Data as of December 1988