The UK opened a new diplomatic office in N’Djamena, Chad on 21 March. It is the first UK mission in the country and will support the work of Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development staff. This new platform will enable the UK to work more closely with an important regional partner in the Sahel and North Africa.
The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said:
Promoting British interests around the world is at the very heart of Global Britain, forging new trading relationships and building new ties with old friends. Our new office in Chad will strengthen our diplomatic, defence and development engagement in the Lake Chad Basin and Sahel region and shows the importance we place on our already strong relationship with the country.
Chad is one of our key partners in the fight against terrorism and together we are determined to root out extremism and build a more secure and stable region.
The International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
Earlier this year, we committed to bringing our world class development expertise to work in partnership with the French across the Sahel region.
With this office we have increased the UK’s footprint in the region so we can do even more to address some of the toughest development challenges in Chad. We are improving health and education, and building resilience to climate shocks. Our work will support the delivery of stability, security and prosperity in Chad, which will benefit us all.
Chad hosts the headquarters for the military force tackling Boko Haram, the Multinational Joint Task Force in the Lake Chad region, which the UK supports with funding and military personnel. Chad is also a key player fighting terrorism in Mali and the Sahel.
This announcement complements the Prime Minister’s announcement in January 2018 of a closer partnership with France to stabilise the Sahel. This partnership includes support to Operation Barkhane and for the G5 Sahel Joint Force.
The joint FCO-DFID UK office is co-located with the EU Delegation in Chad. It is a subordinate post to the British High Commission Yaoundé, and will continue to have a non-resident Ambassador in Cameroon. British nationals requiring consular assistance should contact the British High Commission in Yaoundé.
DFID’s ‘Providing Humanitarian Assistance in Sahel Emergencies’ programme has supported over 1.5 million people in the Sahel with life-saving humanitarian aid; since 2015 and over 1.8 million with the effect of climate change and other major shocks. In addition to humanitarian support, UK Aid in Chad is supporting populations to build events in some of the most climate-vulnerable regions of Chad alongside providing support to build adaptive social protection systems for those communities who are most at risk.
Since October 2015, four UK military personnel have deployed to Chad in support of counter-extremist activity in the region.
Last year, the UK gave £5 million to support the Multinational Joint Task Force, the regional military force (headquartered in Chad) tackling Boko Haram