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Opposition called out military leadership on brutal repression of dissent, and jihadists launched deadly attack on govt forces in west.
Tensions continued to run high between govt and opposition. Following deadly crackdown on 20 Oct opposition protests and subsequent wave of arrests, leader of Les Transformateurs party, Succès Masra, 1 Nov left country, while leader of Wakit Tama civil society coalition, Max Loalngar, and other opposition figures late Oct-early Nov went into hiding. Transitional authorities 8 Nov accepted calls for international independent inquiry into deadly protests; however insisted that Chadian official oversee inquiry. Les Transformateurs and Wakit Tama around same day referred case to International Criminal Court, saying events surrounding protests likely qualify as crimes against humanity.
Implementation of national dialogue’s recommendations started. Following conclusion of national dialogue in Oct, PM Saleh Kebzabo 3 Nov presented new transition roadmap to Transitional National Council (CNT) legislative body, with constitutional referendum and new legal framework for elections as main priorities, and President Mahamat Déby 7 Nov appointed 104 additional CNT members including former opposition leaders and representatives of rebel groups that signed Doha peace deal in August. AU Peace and Security Council 11 Nov voted against sanctioning transitional authorities despite report of AU Chair Moussa Faki castigating military leadership for failing to honour 18-month transition timeframe.
Jihadist violence and intercommunal conflicts persisted in west. President Déby 14 Nov announced deployment of 600 military personnel in Lake province to fight enduring Boko Haram presence; jihadist group 22 Nov killed ten soldiers near Ngouboua village close to Nigeria’s border. In Chari-Baguirmi province, farmer-herder conflict 13 Nov left four wounded in Tchiltchlie village. In Logone-Occidental province, gendarmes in Krim Krim locality 22 Nov opened fire at protesters demanding release of farmer incarcerated after dispute with herders; eight civilians dead and 30 injured.
Authorities brutally repressed countrywide protests after national dialogue extended transition period to civilian rule by two years, leaving at least 60 dead, while herder-farmer conflict killed dozens.
National dialogue concluded, prolonging transition by 24 months. National dialogue’s plenary session 1 Oct adopted final resolutions extending transition by 24 months, maintaining Transitional Military Council leader Mahamat Déby as head of state and allowing him to run for president at next elections (despite earlier pledge not to). Déby 8 Oct issued revised transitional charter, 10 Oct took office as transitional president, and 14 Oct appointed members of “national unity” govt, including former rebel and opposition leaders.
Violent crackdown on opposition protests left dozens dead. Despite govt’s ban, civil society and opposition 20 Oct led demonstrations in capital N’Djamena and several other cities calling for return to civilian rule. Security forces violently cracked down on protesters; authorities reported 60 dead and over 300 wounded, while opposition parties said over 100 killed. PM Saleh Kebzabo same day blamed opposition for attempted “armed insurrection”, announced curfews in four cities and three-month suspension of seven opposition parties involved in protests. NGO International Federation for Human Rights around 23 Oct said hundreds of people detained since 20 Oct had been taken to unknown location in country’s north; NGO Human Rights Watch 26 Oct called for independent investigation of security forces over crackdown.
Deadly intercommunal conflict broke out in centre. Herder-farmer clashes 30 Sept-1 Oct left at least 76 and up to 90 people dead in Mangalmé and Kouka Margni sub-prefectures of Guéra region (centre).
Boko Haram attacks continued in west. In Lake region (west), suspected Boko Haram militants 2 Oct abducted six people in Kadoua village, eventually killing four of them; 7 Oct attacked regional governor’s convoy near Kinasserom Island, leaving three injured. Governor of Hadjer-Lamis region (also west) replaced 5 Oct after Boko Haram in Sept launched first attacks in region in five years, briefly seizing two villages in Karal sub-prefecture.
National dialogue moved to propose extension of transition as political repression increased; deadly herder-farmer violence continued in south.National dialogue continued amid tensions. Internal commission of national dialogue 28 Sept submitted proposal to extend transition to elections by two years, keep head of military junta as head of state and allow him to run for president at ballot box. Earlier in month, lack of inclusivity cast shadow on national dialogue’s work. Catholic Church 3 Sept suspended participation in national dialogue, citing lack of “mutual listening”. Group of elders and religious leaders negotiating with some boycotting forces (including opposition and civil society platform Wakit Tama) to pave way for their participation 14 Sept called for suspension of dialogue to consider several recommendations, including installation of new presidium and revision of participation quotas; authorities however took no heed of proposal. Meanwhile, FM Cherif Mahamat Zene 19 Sept resigned, citing interference and encroachment on his mandate from presidential office.Authorities clamped down on opposition. In apparent bid to prevent anti-dialogue rally scheduled for 3 Sept, security forces 1 Sept detained 84 members of Les Transformateurs opposition party over accusations of “disturbing public order” and holding “unauthorised demonstrations” in capital N’Djamena; next day surrounded party headquarters in city, confining four members inside, including party president, Succès Masra. Authorities 4 Sept lifted siege and released party members arrested since 1 Sept, who totalled 279 according to party. Police 9 Sept fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters accompanying Masra to N’Djamena courthouse; 21 Sept cordoned off square in N’Djamena to contain Wakit Tama protest, reportedly detaining several demonstrators.Intercommunal conflict persisted in Moyen-Chari province in south. Herder-farmer clashes 13-14 Sept left 19 dead in several localities of Lac Iro department; security forces detained 18 people.
Transitional authorities signed peace deal with armed groups in Qatar, national dialogue kicked off to immediate delays, and intercommunal conflict flared in south. In Qatar’s capital Doha, Transitional Military Council (CMT) President Mahamat Idriss Déby 8 Aug signed peace deal with dozens of armed groups, whose representatives 13 Aug returned to Chad to participate in upcoming dialogue. Prominent rebel group Front pour l’Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT) and several others however rejected deal, saying it overlooked their main requests, including adequate representation in national dialogue and political prisoners’ release. Rebel group Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic, which did not sign Doha agreement, 27 Aug claimed killing ten soldiers in northern Tibesti region’s Wouri district, which govt dismissed as “fake news”. Political tensions ran high in lead-up to national dialogue. After PM Albert Pahimi Padacké 4 Aug signed executive order fixing participation quotas, so-called “Harmonisation Committee” gathering civil society groups and political parties taking part in dialogue 8 Aug denounced authorities’ “monopoly” over process, with 1,220 delegates out of 1,360 reportedly stemming from ruling party. Déby 17 Aug signed decree making dialogue conclusions binding and preventing modifications by CMT; decree however failed to declare CMT members ineligible for next elections. National dialogue kicked off 20 Aug, but negotiations delayed by a few days for “technical” reasons. Harmonisation Committee delegates withdrew following 28 Aug presentation of dialogue’s presidium, prompting dialogue president 31 Aug to create ad hoc committee charged with “reinforcing inclusivity”. Behind-the-scenes negotiations to pave way for participation of non-signatory armed groups and some civil society and opposition actors (who boycott process) reportedly ongoing late Aug. Meanwhile, Boko Haram attack in Dabantchali locality (Lac region) 2 Aug allegedly killed two soldiers; ten militants also killed. Herder-farmer conflict continued in south. Nomadic herders and local farmers 7 Aug clashed in Kabbia department (Mayo-Kebbi East region), reportedly leaving many dead. Herder-farmer clashes 9 Aug also killed 13 people in Djongol locality (Guéra region), and 19 Aug killed nine people near Mengalang village (Logone Oriental region). Cattle-related violence 3 Aug also reportedly killed 27 people along Chad-Sudan border in east.
Transitional govt announced national dialogue for August, prompting rebel groups to briefly back out of Qatar-mediated peacebuilding talks. Transitional Military Council (CMT) 14 July set 20 August start date for national dialogue meant to pave the way for elections. In response, 14 rebel groups, including Front pour l’Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT) and Union des forces de la Résistance (UFR), 16 July withdrew from Qatar-mediated peacebuilding talks with transitional govt, said lack of consultation on start date for national dialogue revealed attempt to “exclude” them and their political allies. Groups 22 July however accepted to resume talks after Qatari mediator previous day submitted new draft pre-national dialogue agreement. Media outlets 31 July cited negotiators saying agreement between Chad’s military govt and opposition rebels will be signed in Doha in early August. To prepare for national dialogue, CMT President Mahamat Idriss Déby 27 July consulted with some political parties, civil society organisations and religious leaders. Earlier in month, Déby 9 July reshuffled govt, removing Agriculture Minister Dene-Assoum Kamoungué, Economy Minister Mahamat Hamid Koua and his half-brother and head of transitional presidency’s civil cabinet, Abdelkérim Idriss Déby Itno, from office. Reshuffle likely linked to recent cases of corruption and looting of state’s financial resources. Meanwhile, reports emerged of kidnappings for ransom in southern localities. In Mont de Lam department, unidentified group around 6 July allegedly killed villager held in captivity since 20 May, despite his family paying ransom. Local resident 11 July told radio FM Liberté that his two children were recently kidnapped in same area and released after ransom payment. U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Ellen Thornburn 1 July urged CMT members to uphold commitment to abstain from running in next elections; former President Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement in following days denounced “American interference in Chadian affairs”.
Rebel groups accused govt of derailing pre-dialogue talks, high court gave one-year suspended sentence to opposition leaders and herder-farmer violence again flared in east. Rebel groups gathered in Qatar’s capital Doha to reach pre-national dialogue agreement 13 June rejected draft deal govt had proposed 6 June; Qatari mediator same day gave parties two weeks to re-examine draft and propose modifications. Armed groups 18 June accused govt delegation of “disrupting the negotiations through harassment and intimidation”, reaffirmed commitment to reach agreement but reserved right to suspend participation in negotiations. Qatar 29 June presented negotiators with new draft agreement, leaving them three days to amend it. Daoussa Déby Itno, former minister and Transitional Military Council (CMT) President Mahamat Déby Itno’s uncle, 7 June criticised Chad’s mismanagement, said country’s prospects were “very bad”. Catholic organisations at 11 June Chad Episcopal Conference also denounced country’s governance, called for change and emphasised Catholic Church would decide at appropriate time whether to participate in national dialogue. President Déby 23 June dismissed his private secretary, all-powerful General Idriss Youssouf Boy, who was same day arrested on accusations of embezzlement. High Court of N’Djamena 6 June condemned six opposition coalition Wakit Tama leaders arrested on vandalism charges, after mid-May protests in capital N’Djamena turned violent, to 12-month suspended sentence, a collective 10mn CFA francs in damages and 50,000 CFA francs fine each. Defendants two days later appealed decision. Chadian lawyer’s union next day suspended strike protesting leaders’ arrest and detention, called for their release. Transitional authorities 3 June declared food emergency and asked for international support, citing “constant degradation of nutritional situation” due to war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, security situation outside capital remained dire. Following late May clash between gold miners in far north that left over 100 dead, CMT President Déby 3-8 June led mass forced disarmament mission in region. Farmer-herder conflict 7 June erupted in Berem Ham locality (Mayo-Kebbi East region, south) after herder let cattle graze in farmer’s field, leaving 11 dead and at least three injured.
Authorities postponed national dialogue indefinitely, anti-French protests turned violent in capital N’djamena and farmer-herder conflict left several dead in Moyen-Chari region. Cherif Mahamat Zene 1 May postponed national dialogue initially set for 10 May to allow armed groups reunited in Qatar’s capital Doha to reach pre-dialogue agreement; transitional authorities 6 May presented draft agreement to rebel groups. Move to delay national dialogue raised fears Transitional Military Council (CMT) might try to extend 18-month transition roadmap: major trade union Union des Syndicats du Tchad (UST) 1 May accused govt of not respecting social pact and country’s Bishops 2 May declared CMT’s promises had not engendered any improvements. Opposition coalition Wakit Tama 6 May condemned transitional govt’s “failure” to organise dialogue, called for countrywide protest. Hundreds 14 May gathered in capital N’Djamena and other cities to protest against transitional authorities and French involvement in Chadian politics; protesters reportedly attacked twelve gas stations from French company Total and other monuments, burnt French flag and raised Russian flag on top of some buildings. Authorities same day arrested five Wakit Tama leaders on vandalism charges, 16 May apprehended lawyer and Wakit Tama spokesperson Max Loalngar; trial set for 6 June. Order of lawyers 17 May went on strike to protest opposition leaders’ arrest; rebel groups in Doha 21 May demanded govt free Wakit Tama leaders (currently on hunger strike), claiming it was transitional authorities’ responsibility to ensure security around protest. As authorities did not authorise it, Wakit Tama cancelled march planned for 28 May. Meanwhile, intercommunal tensions flared in several localities. In Danamadjé locality (Grande Sido department, Moyen-Chari region), herder 15 May killed farmer and police same day fired on crowd gathered to seek revenge, which left four killed and dozen injured. In Kouri Bougoudi (Tibesti region), dispute involving local gold panners 24 May degenerated into intercommunal clashes involving Libyan fighters; incident left hundreds killed.
Pre-dialogue with armed groups in Qatar continued, civil society coalition withdrew from national dialogue initiative, and land dispute killed one in south. Pre-dialogue between Transitional Military Council (CMT) and 52 Chadian politico-military movements continued in Qatari capital Doha despite mistrust toward transitional authorities. CMT and other groups 14 April exchanged draft protocols on final agreement, including proposals on ceasefire, release of prisoners of war, and disarmament, demobilisation, reinsertion program. Armed groups 14 April subsequently expressed discontent at CMT’s proposition. Major rebel group Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR) 5 April withdrew from talks, denouncing transitional authorities’ hidden agenda. Preparations for national dialogue planned on 10 May faced further hurdles as civil society coalition Wakit Tama 6 April suspended talks with CMT about conditions for dialogue participation, citing transitional authorities’ “duplicity” and announcing “major actions” in response. Following CMT mid-month confirmation dialogue would go forward despite pre-dialogue with armed groups’ slow pace, groups and opposition expressed doubts about CMT’s good-will and dialogue’s inclusivity. Amid growing scepticism about transitional authorities’ sincerity and rising fears they will cling to power, transitional President Mahamat Déby named his half-brother Abdelkérim Déby as presidential chief of staff after former Minister Abdoulaye Sabre Fadoul 5 April resigned from position citing “institutional and interpersonal” reasons. Former President Idriss Déby’s Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) political party 18-20 April held event for anniversary of Déby’s death, criticised transitional authorities for not organising official commemoration. Judges 11 April suspended March’s strike order until 6 May to give govt chance to accede to their demands for more security for members of judiciary. Meanwhile, land dispute 7 April sparked clashes between Migami and Dadjo communities in Dokatchi village (Guéra prefecture, Guéra region), leaving one dead and 14 injured.
Pre-dialogue with armed groups got off to difficult start, President Mahamat Déby sought to reinforce links with Rwanda, and judges went on countrywide strike. Ahead of national inclusive dialogue planned in May, long-delayed pre-dialogue between Transitional Military Council (CMT) and armed groups 13 March kicked off in Qatari capital Doha. Rebel group Front pour l’Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT) representatives same day walked out, demanding Qatar mediate talks and accusing CMT of including large number of armed groups (52 in total) in negotiations to dilute groups’ demands. Qatar immediately suspended negotiations, demanding armed groups select a number of representatives for talks. Committee charged with preparing pre-dialogue and headed by former President Goukkouni Weddeye 9 March dismissed, sparking further suspicion among armed groups in run-up to talks. After groups 22 March split up into three factions, pre-dialogue following day resumed with Qatar mediating. Civil society group Casac, close to CMT, 6 March held demonstration in support of transition and French presence. In Mao city (Kanem region, west), incident toward policeman, which then put judge at risk, prompted strike across judiciary: after gendarmerie and military 10 March beat up and injured policeman, prompting victim’s family 14 March to assault judge in retaliation, judges across country 17-20 March went on strike, demanding increased security for judiciary; judges 22 March prolonged strike indefinitely. Military 27 March molested two other judges in Kelo city in south, sparking strong reactions from magistrate’s unions. Fulani pastoralists and Massa farmers 13 March clashed in Moulkou prefecture (Mako-Kebbi Est region, south west), leaving three dead. Meanwhile, Déby 18 March met Rwandan President Kagame in Rwanda’s capital Kigali, signed general cooperation agreement.
Pre-dialogue initiative with armed groups faced setback and delay, tensions with Central African Republic rose and intercommunal violence left dozen dead. Pre-dialogue with armed groups planned for 27 Feb in Qatar’s capital Doha delayed, possibly rescheduled to mid-March due to logistical issues. Pre-dialogue also faced major challenge after controversial phone conversation between Chadian rebel group Union des forces de la Résistance (UFR) leader Timan Erdimi and former Special Adviser for Central African Republic (CAR) Aboulkassim Algoni Tidjani Annour 15 Feb surfaced on social media; in call, leaders discussed plan to destabilise Chad, with Erdimi saying he wished to convince Russian paramilitary group Wagner to oust Transitional Military Council (TMC) leader Mahamat Idriss Déby and drive France out of Chad. Govt and parliament members immediately condemned plot, with govt stating refusal to host man planning “war” at dialogue talks with armed groups, while some MPs called for cancellation of amnesty law enacted in late Dec. UFR 18 Feb reaffirmed willingness to participate in dialogue and denounced attempt to exclude them. Déby 21 Feb reaffirmed that no armed group will be excluded from pre-dialogue. Tensions between CAR and Chad rose over leaked audio recording; CAR presidency 17 Feb denied involvement in plot and said Tidjani had been dismissed as presidential adviser in Feb 2021. Meanwhile, various stakeholders including Déby and civil society coalition Wakit Tama 9 Feb discussed conditions for dialogue participation; Groupe de Réflexion et d’Action pour l’Appel du 1er juin 2021 – group composed of former officials and longstanding opponents – also same day published document with recommendations on dialogue agenda and proposals on ways to identify participants. Meanwhile, intercommunal violence persisted. In east, tensions remained high despite non-aggression pact 2 Feb signed between Arab and Ouaddaïan communities following late-Jan incidents in Abéché city in Ouaddaï region. In south, farmer-herder tensions erupted: herder group 10 Feb launched reprisal attack which left 12 dead in Sandana area after they found dead body of community member. Demonstrations held during month in southern cities and in capital N’djamena against corruption, impunity and injustice.
Transitional authorities made progress ahead of May national dialogue; banditry and intercommunal tensions ran high in east. President of Transitional Military Council (CMT) Mahamat Idriss Déby lifted some obstacles to allow rebels’ participation in dialogue. Notably, authorities 18 Jan released 22 former armed group combatants detained at N’Djaména central prison; move followed two amnesty laws enacted 31 Dec covering over 300 rebels and political dissidents charged with “wrongful beliefs”, “terrorism” and/or “harming the integrity of the State”. Chadian delegation mid-Jan travelled to Qatar’s capital Doha to discuss Feb pre-dialogue with armed groups – initially planned late Jan in Qatar, later rescheduled to 27 Feb. Representatives of “politico-military” movements 21 Jan met in Italy’s capital Roma, at invitation of Sant’Egidio community, for dialogue consultation; representatives reiterated their will “to contribute to the solution of the Chadian crisis”. After Déby’s declaration late Dec that dialogue conclusions will be binding and draft constitution will be endorsed by referendum, five opposition parties and civil society groups 7 Jan welcomed announcement, but requested formal written commitment. Opposition party Les Transformateurs next day held major meeting in capital N’Djamena, while group of 14 opposition parties and high-ranking officials created new coalition, Convergences des Organisations Politiques. Meanwhile, banditry activities and intercommunal tensions increased in east, notably in Sila province, on border with Sudan’s Darfur. Unidentified gunmen 1 Jan attacked two people in Abdi town; four gunmen 11 Jan assaulted man prompting clashes with security forces, one assailant killed. In Hadjer Beyda village, local administration 12 Jan conducted mediation mission after land disputes escalated. Déby 14 Jan expressed concerns about Sudan’s situation as “it could have repercussions on us”. Also in east, in Abéché city in Ouaddaï region, security forces 24-25 Jan suppressed demonstration against 29 Jan inauguration of district head (chef de canton), reportedly leaving at least 11 dead and more than 80 injured; four ministers subsequently travelled to Abéché to appease tensions and territorial administration minister 26 Jan suspended contested local leader and Dar Ouaddaï sultan. In Lake Chad region (west), over a thousand 13 Jan fled Massakani village and sought shelter in new internally displaced persons site.
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