CrisisWatch Chad

Unchanged Situation

Tensions continued to mount in lead-up to May presidential election as opposition disunity persisted; govt requested U.S. troops leave. 

Amid political tensions, opposition remained divided over boycott of polls. Ahead of May presidential vote, which includes transitional President Déby and recently-appointed PM Succès Masra as main contenders, opposition remained divided. Civil society opposition platform Wakit Tama 12 April endorsed boycott – which some parties including New Chad Artisans party and Chadian Liberal Party called for in March and early April – citing concerns over lack of electoral roll revision and timing during rainy season. Meanwhile, Union of Nationalists Party 3 April accused international community of financing flawed electoral process. Other opposition parties, however, formed alliances to contest vote and oversee electoral process; 34 parties 9 April formed Justice-Equality Coalition around Masra, partly in order to monitor polling stations nationwide; but alliance, as well as others including Coalition for Just and Equitable Republic created to support influential former PM Padacké’s candidacy, unlikely to defeat ruling party. Meanwhile, electoral authorities criticised perceived violations of electoral rules including supporters of Déby and Masra early April organising rallies and religious ceremonies across country, ahead of official 14 April campaign start date, and Masra 28 April urging supporters to monitor vote by taking photos of tally sheets.

Socio-economic crisis sparked civil unrest, insecurity continued in hinterland. Amid socio-economic deterioration including rising fuel prices and electricity shortages, various unions held protests including students 3 April in capital N’Djamena and textile workers 9 April in Sarh city (Moyen-Chari region). Inter-communal violence remained high, particularly in Moyen-Chari and Mayo-Kebbi Ouest regions.

Govt requested U.S. troop withdrawal. Letter from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen Idriss Amine Ahmed 4 April confirmed previous rumours that govt asked U.S. troops to withdraw from Adji Kosseï military base at airport in N’Djamena; Ahmed cited lack of legal basis for U.S. presence. U.S. military 25 April said Washington would reposition “some” troops but described it as “temporary step” as talks continue.

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