In an upcoming protest, Chadians in the diaspora will demand that incumbent president of the Republic of Chad Idriss Déby Itno step down due to his alleged failure to stop massive unemployment and corruption. He is also being accused of maintaining a “continuous state of poverty.”
In what has been described as a revolution against President Déby, Chadians in the diaspora led by The Union and Council of Chadian Youth has called on Africa and the world to help force the embattled leader to give up power.
“Idriss Déby Itno must step down in order for democracy to be a reality for the Republic of Chad,” the group expressed in a statement, which also detailed President Déby’s alleged abuses:
“The situation is worrying. In our report we criticize the arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions and restrictions on freedom of expression that occur in Chad. Hundreds of people are arrested at regular intervals – they are arrested illegally – that is the problem!
“Freedom of expression has been eroded away – only recently there was a wave of arrests in which journalists and members of parliament were detained. These journalists can no longer practice their profession or make use of their right to free speech because they live in fear of being arrested again.”
This petition follows the recent sentencing of the country’s former dictator Hissène Habré to life imprisonment for crimes against humanity, torture, rape and war crimes by a Senegalese court – a sentence UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon described as a historic day for the people of Chad.
Habré was found guilty of killing and torturing tens of thousands of political activists and prisoners during his tenure between 1982 and 1990. Presiding judge Gberdao Gustave Kam ultimately determined that Habré created an environment of total impunity.
The Union and Council of Chadian Youth’s protest is scheduled for 1 pm on June 24, 2016, in front of the United Nations building in New York City.