FSI Score: 110.3
In an April 25 poll, Chad's strongman president, Idriss Déby, won a landslide reelection with almost 90 percent of the vote. The ballot was flawed and turnout was low, but the president claimed victory, meaning that this onetime coup leader will rule for a full quarter-century by the time he comes up for another vote in 2016. The result barely made headlines outside West Africa and the former colonial power, France. So untouchable is Déby's rule -- and so downtrodden is the opposition -- that everyone knew who was going to win.
It's also clear who is going to lose: the people of Chad. Since Déby came to power, Chad has discovered oil, courted the World Bank, and watched as the rest of Africa has begun to boom. The country, however, has seen precious little improvement. Just 23 percent of Chadians in urban areas have access to clean water, for example; in rural areas the numbers are even lower. Life expectancy hovers at a mere 49 years. Government budgets, frothy with oil wealth, have been directed toward the purchase of arms to ward off rebel groups in the country's east. Soldiers pictured here patrol near the city of Abeche, a rebel stronghold.
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