How soon will Chad end military rule?

Nii Ntreh April 25, 2021
Former Chadian president Iddris Deby Itno was a former soldier who seized power in 1990. Photo Credit: Twitter

The African Union hopes the central African country of Chad will soon revert to constitutional and democratic rule after the death of its president Idriss Deby Itno, who is thought to have been killed by rebel forces he was leading the Chadian army against in the north of the country on Tuesday, April 20.

French President Emmanuel Macron as well as other international dignitaries were in attendance on Friday, April 23 when the slain president was buried. Chad has now been placed under military rule for the next 18 months by a council that will be headed by General Mahamat Idriss Deby, the departed president’s 37-year-old son.

But the African Union is unhappy with the length of this transitional government and has advised that Chad “expeditiously” attend to the matter of “grave concern”. The African Union’s position is in line with previous pronouncements after coups but on this particular occasion, the body may be asking a lot. France, which has a large contingent of soldiers on the ground in Chads, appears to have hailed the installation of a military council, calling the times “exceptional circumstances”.

France believes the G5 of the Sahel – Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger – are pivotal to winning the war on terror in west, north and central Africa. Instability at the helm in any of these countries holds the worst possible repercussions for the interests of Paris.

For three decades, the late Deby’s loyalty to France was paid with support for his military, the Chadian economy and for his own welfare. He maintained an ironclad regime that is currently fighting various enemy factions who number about four separate groups in some analysts’ estimations. Currently, too, the opposition and trade unions have slammed the anointment of Idriss’ as the de facto leader, decrying what they have compared to a dynasty.

Mahamat, who is the commander in chief of the red-bereted presidential guard or DGSSIE security service for state institutions, was raised by his paternal grandmother in the capital, N’Djamena. He is from the Zaghawa ethnic group, which has several top officers in the army.

He was appointed deputy chief of the Chadian army deployed to Mali, where he worked closely with French troops in operation Serval in 2013 to 2014. The operation was to oust Islamic militants from the north of Mali.

Last Edited by:Nii Ntreh Updated: April 26, 2021


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