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Several hundred people demonstrated on Saturday in Chad to protest against the French presence in the territory and to denounce Paris’ support for the current transitional president, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, in power since the death of his father in February. 2021.
“France, get out!” Several hundred people demonstrated on Saturday, May 14, in N’Djamena, against the presence of France in Chad, which they accuse of supporting the military junta in power, noted an AFP journalist.
Demonstrators burned at least two flags of the former colonial power and vandalized several Total service stations, “symbol” of France, tearing off pumps and taking away certain products on display, according to the same source.
This demonstration, organized by the civil society opposition platform Wakit Tamma, had been authorized by the authorities. A strong police force surrounded the procession and was deployed in the city.
On April 20, 2021, the army announced that Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, at the head of a very authoritarian power for 30 years, had been killed at the front against yet another rebellion. The same day, his son Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno was proclaimed by the army “transitional president” at the head of a junta made up of fifteen generals. He promised “free and democratic elections” after an 18-month transition, at the end of an inclusive National Dialogue with the political and armed opposition.
He was immediately dubbed by the international community, France, European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) in the lead, while the same sanction putschist soldiers elsewhere in Africa, in particular because his army is essential in the war against the jihadists. in the Sahel.
>> Chad: a year after the death of Idriss Déby, a transition still uncertain
Towards an extension of the transition
During the march on Saturday, several students and college students on motorcycles joined the demonstrators singing in chorus “France outside”.
“I’m demonstrating because France still wants to impose the Deby system on us,” said a young high school student with a white headband. “If we continue to suffer today since independence, it is the fault of France which prevents us from being truly independent,” adds Idriss Moussa, an Arabic-speaking teacher.
“We are delighted that the Chadians are becoming more and more aware of our struggle and are joining us,” Me Max Loalngar, coordinator of Wakit Tamma, told AFP. “France is installing dictators over our heads. We are just asking that our people be respected.”
In June 2021, the Chadian head of state considered an extension of the transition and announced, on May 1, the postponement of the national dialogue, at the request of Qatar, mediator of a “pre-dialogue” which has stalled for two months in Doha between the junta and countless rebel groups.
The French presidency reacted by saying it was “committed” to a dialogue as soon as possible, then by offering France’s help a few days later.
On April 6, the opposition platform Wakit Tamma announced the suspension of its talks with the junta, denouncing in particular “an international community which persists in supporting an illegal and illegitimate regime whatever it takes”.