Protests in Chad against military junta

N'Djamena, ChadUpdated: Aug 07, 2021, 09:47 PM IST


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Demonstrations were called by civil society organizations to protest the CMT's (Transitional Military Council) 'power grab' in April by Deby's son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno

Several hundred people protested Saturday in N'Djamena against the junta that has ruled Chad since the death in the battle of Idriss Deby Itno, despite a strong police presence.

Civil society organisations had called to demonstrate against the Transitional Military Council's (CMT) "power grab" in April by Deby's 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.

"We are fighting for a just Chad... We will not stop as long as there is injustice in the country and the CMT is in charge," said Max Loalngar, spokesman for Wakit Tamma, an opposition platform.

Authorities had given the go-ahead for the protest and deployed security forces. But there was no violence.

"I marched to say no to the monarchical devolution of power in Chad," said Elsa, a 23-year-old protester, holding up a sign that read "Chad is not a kingdom".

Marcellin, a 25-year-old, added: "The country has been going backwards for almost 30 years in terms of education, clean water and access to employment. You have to be close to the ruling party or a member of the clan to have access to employment."

The generals under Deby's son have promised "free and transparent" elections after an 18-month "transition" when they took power -- but also proceeded to dissolve parliament and repeal the constitution.

A promised "national dialogue," which was supposed to include bitter critics, has yet to begin and a 93-strong body supposed to draft a new constitution has yet to be appointed.

The elder Deby died in April from wounds sustained fighting rebels.