A violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Chad killed 50 people, including around 10 security personnel, on Thursday during clashes in N’Djamena between police and protesters over the extension of Chad’s political transition, according to a government spokesman.
“A prohibited demonstration has transformed in a rebellion, “Aziz Muhammad Salih told AFP.” Protesters attacked public buildings, the governorate headquarters, the prime minister’s party headquarters and the headquarters of the president of the National Assembly.
France, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, condemned the violence. The ministry said in a note: “This morning in There has been violence in Chad, especially with the use of lethal weapons against demonstrators, which France condemns “, stressing at the same time that Paris plays” no role. in these events “.
The African Union also condemned the “repression of demonstrations”.
Hundreds have come down in square demanding a faster transition to democratic government, blocked the streets and set fire to the party headquarters of the new Chadian Prime Minister Salih Kebzabo.
These clashes occur after extending the transitional phase by two years, which was to end today, Thursday 20 October.
The vast country led by the Central African Army is in turmoil from the sudden death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021. Deby ruled with an iron fist for three decades and died while visiting forces fighting the rebels.
There is resistance to a transitional military council led by Déby’s son, who took power after his father’s death and postponed elections to October 2024.
Opposition groups and civil society called for participation in Thursday’s protests, which were supposed to be the end of an agreed 18-month transition period. The government has banned permits for protests, citing security reasons.
But the demonstrators got out in square early in the morning and set fire to tires and debris to block the streets of the capital.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd in the whole city, killing at least three people and injuring many others.
“I strongly condemn the repression of the demonstrations, which led to death in Chad “, said on Twitter the president of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat, former prime minister of Chad, calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
As crowds made their way through the streets of N’Djamena waving Chadian flags, some protesters headed to Prime Minister Salih Kebzabo’s National Union for Democracy and Renewal headquarters.
Kebzabou, a longtime opponent of the Deby regime, was appointed prime minister last week.
A national unity government was formed on Friday to lead Chad for the next two years until the elections. But opponents are calling for a quicker return to democracy and a change of government after Deby’s long rule.
“Our headquarters was looted and then set on fire this morning,” Celestine Topona, deputy head of the National Union for Democracy and Renewal, told Reuters.
And there were the dead in a repression launched by the security forces against the protests of civil society and opposition groups, who reject the takeover by the army and France’s support for the transitional government.
In May, security forces fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse anti-French protests.
On Thursday, France condemned the violence and the use of weapons against protesters.
“France has no role in these events, which are a matter exclusively linked to the internal politics of Chad. All information false on the alleged involvement of France are unfounded “, said the foreign ministry in a note.
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