As of 19 April 2021, the Chadian military is claiming that during an altercation in the northern Kanem province, near the border of Borkou province, it repelled rebel forces from the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) as they advanced toward the capital N’Djamena. A military spokesperson stated that multiple clashes occurred between the militants and army soldiers during the evening of 17 April. There are conflicting accounts of recent events. The military claims that it “totally decimated” the group, seized 26 vehicles, neutralized 300 militants and arrested at least 150 prisoners, while FACT referred to the events on 18 April as the “liberation of Kanem region” and claimed it was still advancing toward both N’Djamena and Mao — the capital of Kanem region located approximately 310 km (190 mi) north of N’Djamena. Other reports indicate that a faction of FACT continues to advance southward. Government tanks and soldiers remain stationed at the northern entrance to N’Djamena and throughout the city.
Multiple Western countries have issued warnings to their citizens in Chad. On 17 April the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advised against all travel to Chad and advised British nationals in the country to leave as soon as possible due to armed convoys belonging to FACT advancing from the north in the direction of the capital N’Djamena. The full text of the advisory is available here. On the same day, the U.S. Embassy in N’Djamena issued a Security Alert, ordering the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees from N’Djamena and directing U.S. citizens seeking to depart the country to do so via commercial flights. The French Embassy in N’Djamena has also issued an alert regarding rebel movements, which can be found here. Currently, N’Djamena International Airport (FTTJ/NDJ) remains open and limited commercial flights are still available; however, the status of transportation may change with little notice if the rebels reach the city.
Clashes commenced on 11 April — the same day as the presidential election — in the northern Tibesti province when FACT rebel forces engaged Chadian armed forces in the town of Zouar and the nearby village of Zouarké — both located near the border with Niger, approximately 385 km (240 mi) northwest of Faya-Largeau in the Borkou region. At that time, FACT rebel forces began advancing south toward the capital N’Djamena and the city of Mao. As of 19 April several civil society groups and opposition parties — including the Chadian Convention on Human Rights and the Party for Freedoms and Development — have called for a cease fire between FACT militants and the government, specifically requesting that incumbent President Idriss Déby open a dialogue with the rebel forces.