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.
Transitional president maintained tight grip on power despite appointment of opposition leader as PM; authorities announced foiling destabilisation attempt, and pro-Sudanese armed forces hacking group targeted Chad.
Opposition leader named PM, Deby endorsed as presidential candidate. Transitional President Gen Mahamat Déby 1 Jan appointed Succès Masra, founder of opposition party Les Transformateurs, as PM of transitional govt. Déby in following days asserted his authority, however. New govt formed 2 Jan kept key figures from previous govt while Masra secured only three ministries for his party. In likely bid to tighten control over Masra’s actions, Déby 8 Jan appointed Les Transformateurs defector, Moustapha Masri, as deputy head of his civilian cabinet. Ruling party Patriotic Salvation Movement of late President Idriss Déby 13 Jan nominated President Mahamat Déby as candidate for presidential election due to be held in Oct.
Security situation remained precarious. Military 12 Jan announced foiling planned “insurrection” and arresting 80 armed officers, including alleged coordinator of insurrectional movement, Lt. Kouroumta Levana Guelemi; development might be related to interethnic struggles within national army. Almost 900 fighters from rebel coalition Union of Democratic Forces for Democracy 2 Jan gathered in Faya-Largeau city (Borkou province) with their president, Mahamat Nouri, to disarm as per 2022 Doha agreement, but govt’s inability to fund disarmament program could lead to tensions and further instability. Meanwhile, intercommunal conflicts continued in country’s centre and south; notably, clash between herders and farmers 6 Jan left one dead and unknown number injured in Abtouyour department (Guéra province).
Cyberattack targeted Chad over stance on Sudan conflict. Pro-Sudanese armed forces hacking group, Anonymous Sudan, 10 Jan hit Chad’s internet infrastructure, causing hours-long internet blackout; group said attack was in retaliation for N’Djamena’s alleged support for paramilitary Rapid Support Force (RSF). Meanwhile, Chadian and Sudanese FMs 18 Jan met in Ugandan capital Kampala to discuss bilateral relations.
In another important development. Déby 24 Jan met with Russian President Putin in Russia’s capital Moscow.
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.
The death of Chad’s President Idriss Déby has plunged the country into uncertainty, causing concern among many Chadians and in neighbouring states. Crisis Group looks at recent events and examines the main risks facing the country.
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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