War in Sudan’s Darfur region has triggered a refugee crisis in eastern Chad and raised concerns that turmoil could spread. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Enrica Picco draws upon research at the Chad-Sudan border to explain the challenges facing N’Djamena.
Opposition heavyweight Succès Masra returned from exile ahead of constitutional referendum due in December; N’Djamena faced growing risk of becoming embroiled in Sudan conflict.
Authorities allowed Succès Masra to return, prepared constitutional referendum. Succès Masra, leader of Les Transformateurs party, 3 Nov returned to Chad after year-long exile; agreement for his return, facilitated by Economic Community of Central African States, includes amnesty for all military and civilian actors involved in deadly violence of 20 Oct 2022, and Masra’s commitment to support transition process. Authorities 5 Nov released 72 members of Les Transformateurs who had been detained since 2022. Masra 19 Nov addressed hundreds of supporters in capital N’Djamena, urged “reconciliation” with military rulers. Civil society movement Wakit Tama refused to recognise amnesty, and Les Démocrates party leader rejected “fool’s agreement”, urged justice for victims of 2022 police crackdown. Meanwhile, govt 7 Nov published decree convening electorate for constitutional referendum scheduled for 16-17 Dec. Several opposition and civil society figures continued to denounce draft constitution’s focus on unitary state to the detriment of federal one, lack of participation of main political actors and hasty nature of census, which did not cover entire electorate, especially in southern provinces.
Chad denied taking sides in Sudan’s war amid mounting risk of destabilisation. Govt 6 Nov denied rumours that Chad and United Arab Emirates use Amdjarass airport to send military supply to Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti”’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). Recent clashes in Sudan between RSF and Juba Peace Agreement signatories, whose members largely hail from Zaghawa community, could increase tensions between Arabs and Zaghawa in govt and military (see Sudan).
In another important development. Coordinated offensive launched in August by Libyan National Army and Chadian military continued to weaken rebel movement Front for Alternance and Concord in Chad (FACT). Prominent FACT leader Mahamat Barh Béchir Kendji late Oct or early Nov reportedly surrendered to Chadian authorities alongside between 130 and 1,000 combatants; FACT 9 Nov accused Kendji of treason.
Chadians’ growing use of social media could prove a boon for the country’s political transition, but it could also fuel violence offline. With donor backing, authorities, civil society, online platforms and influencers should work to ensure social media remains a space for democratic debate rather than an accelerator of conflict.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood speaks with Enrica Picco, Crisis Group’s Central Africa director, about the security forces’ crackdown on protesters in Chad last week, prospects for a return to civilian rule and whether more violence is likely.
In this video, Crisis Group’s Central Africa Project Director takes a look at what's happening in Chad and what can be done to avert further violence.
Enrica Picco, d’International Crisis Group, appelle le président de transition à nommer une commission d’enquête indépendante pour faire la lumière sur la répression des manifestations du 20 octobre.
Five months after President Idriss Déby’s sudden death, Chadian authorities are preparing a highly anticipated national dialogue. The country faces significant challenges as it charts a course to civilian rule.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group experts Richard Moncrieff and Claudia Gazzini about the death of Chadian President Idriss Déby and its consequences for Chad and the region.
لقد أدخلت وفاة الرئيسي التشادي إدريس ديبي البلاد في حالة من عدم اليقين، وأثارت مخاوف الكثير من التشاديين والدول المجاورة. تنظر مجموعة الأزمات في التطورات الأخيرة وتدرس المخاطر الرئيسية التي تواجه البلاد.
The Chadian army, while essential to counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel, is also a source of potential instability for the country. Chadian authorities, supported by their international partners, should build a more representative and professional army, and establish safeguards to discourage violence in the event of a succession crisis.
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