Chad: Junta postpones reconciliation dialogue to a "later" date

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The military junta in power for more than a year in Chad postponed to an unspecified date a reconciliation dialogue scheduled for May 10 before elections, while preliminary negotiations with the rebels drag on in Qatar.

N'Djamena "agreed" to the postponement of the forum, which should lead to a handover of power to civilians, at the request of Qatar, which is mediating a "pre-dialogue" that has been stalled for a month and a half in Doha between the junta and the numerous rebel groups.

The Chadian Foreign Ministry however did not give a new timetable.

On 20 April 2021, the army announced that President Idriss Déby Itno, who had ruled Chad for more than 30 years, had been killed on the front line against rebels. The same day, his son Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, a young 37-year-old general, was proclaimed by the army as "transitional president" at the head of a junta of 15 generals.

Inclusive national dialogue

This Transitional Military Council (TMC) immediately dissolved the Parliament, dismissed the government and abrogated the Constitution. The TMC promised "free and democratic elections" after an 18-month transition, organised at the end of an inclusive National Dialogue (DNI) with the political and armed opposition.

After much procrastination, the date of this dialogue was set for 10 May 2022, in the wake of a peace "pre-dialogue" laboriously launched on 13 March with the countless rebel groups that have been harassing Idriss Déby's government for over 30 years.

However, the junta and some 250 representatives of fifty armed movements refuse to talk directly to each other in Doha and the Qatari mediator is struggling to make progress in the talks.

Elections

The day after, the Wakit Tamma platform, which brings together the vast majority of the unarmed opposition in N'Djamena, suspended its participation in the preparation of the Dialogue, accusing the junta of deliberately provoking the "stalemate" of the Doha pre-dialogue and perpetuating "violence by the security forces and human rights violations".

In this context, without the bulk of the political opposition and armed groups, the national dialogue promised by Mahamat Déby to the Chadians and to the international community, which immediately endorsed it a year ago, is in trouble. As well as the holding of elections theoretically planned for the fall of 2022.

On Sunday afternoon, Qatar called on N'Djamena to postpone the opening of the DNI, citing negotiations that are "on the right track and are making significant progress".

War against jihadists

While Western capitals, primarily Paris, the European Union and the African Union, condemn and sanction the perpetrators of recent military coups elsewhere in Africa, they immediately endorsed Mahamat Déby a year ago, who has since been received as head of state in Europe and elsewhere.

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