TCHAD : A time of uncertainty ? Spécial

Source : Sahel Weather

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Chad has been confronted with a series of complex and interconnected events that have had a profound impact on the country's political, economic and security situation. The announcement of a state of food emergency highlighted the humanitarian crisis caused by the massive influx of refugees from neighboring Sudan. With over half a million refugees having fled the conflict in Darfur, Chad finds itself under pressure to meet the needs of these displaced populations, exacerbating internal social and economic tensions. Although the European Union has granted more than 29 billion CFA francs in humanitarian aid to Chad, the situation remains very complicated. This is particularly true since the UN announced that it was suspending food aid to Sudanese refugees for lack of funds. In the Adré camp, for example, 80% of the inhabitants "have seen people looting and burning their homes" during this war, which is rekindling inter-community tensions and conflicts in the country. 

On the political front, Sahel Déby Itno's move to join opposition politician Yaya Dillo's Parti Socialiste sans Frontière (PSF) revealed fissures within the presidential clan and the Mouvement Patriotique du Salut (MPS) party, founded by his late brother, President Idriss Déby Itno. The move was seen as a challenge to the leadership of Mahamat Déby, the current head of the transition. Criticism also emerged over the adoption of a new electoral code, accused of favoring the presidential camp and restricting equitable political participation. These political tensions were exacerbated by the demonstrations and strikes that broke out in response to the significant rise in fuel prices. The population, already facing increasing economic difficulties, expressed its dissatisfaction with the government's decision.

Security events came to a head with what the government presented as a murderous attack on the premises of the intelligence services, by supporters of Yaya Dillo. In a turbulent situation, the security forces carried out a police operation at the headquarters of the opponent's party, resulting in his death. According to the government, the president of the PSF "refused to surrender and fired on the police". Party officials, however, denounced the incident as an "assassination". Dillo's family disputes the official version and is calling for a thorough investigation to establish the truth about his death. This raises the question of the country's stability and security as it prepares for a delicate and uncertain political transition.

Indeed, the approach of the May 6, 2024 presidential election where, for the first time in the country's history and even in Africa, the incumbent president, Mahamat Idriss Déby, and his prime minister, Succès Masra, are both standing as candidates, despite their cohabitation within the transitional power. The electoral process itself is controversial, with criticisms levelled at the new electoral code which restricts transparency, notably by abolishing the posting of results in front of polling stations and limiting political parties' access to the minutes. In addition, the Constitutional Council rejected the candidacies of ten presidential candidates, including those of two staunch opponents of the ruling junta. All of this in a climate where press freedom is relatively questioned following the suspension of several media outlets by the authorities and a crisis in the private media.

In the east of the country, clashes between different communities led to the death of at least 42 people, underlining the persistent challenges to security and social cohesion in Chad.