Chad : death of President Deby and fragile transitional process

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On April 19, 2021 the President of Chad, Idriss Deby died from his wounds received during visiting the frontline of the fighting between rebels of the Front pour l’Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT) and the governmental armed forces. The FACT, which is based in Lybia near the northern border of Chad, has been marching heavily armed on Chad’s capital N’Djamena after announcement of initial results of the April 11 presidential elections, giving President Deby the winner and enabling him to pursue a sixth mandate. The army has pushed back the rebels of the FACT and has refused any talks with them, after FACT’s proposal for a ceasefire and peace talks, calling them “outlaws”. The FACT’s leader, Mahamat Mahdi Ali is being sought by Libya’s attorney general for war crimes.

After the death of President Deby, the army announced the creation of a Transitional Military Council (TMC), led by President’s son General Mahamat Idriss Deby, with the aim of ensuring a 18-months process of transition. That nomination has resulted in many oppositions and the African Union has urged for the end of the military rule as soon as possible. In order to consolidate its position and influence, the TMC has been engaged with influential political figures, such as the nomination of former Chad’s Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke as PM of the transitional government has shown. Nevertheless, internal divides and divisions within the Chad army remain and raise fears of increased instability as the (fragile) transition process will go underway. The NGO International Crisis Group (ICG) has warned about further offensives from the FACT and other rebel groups based in Lybia such as the CCMSR. ICG has also called for an immediate ceasefire and has reiterated the need to take on Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) measures about the several (armed) rebel groups in Chad/Lybia.

CD4Peace expresses its deep concern about the safety of the population and recommends to take immediate and preventive measures to protect civilians and children in order to avoid any future violence against them. CD4Peace further recommends all parties as well as the international community to increase the fight against poverty in Chad and to support efforts aiming to alleviate impacts of climate change in the country.