Tag Archives: Chad

Borrell: Sahel pivotal moment

Brussels 25.04.2021 “The security situation remains very worrying in the Sahel. One figure is enough to illustrate this point: in central Mali, there are two serious security incidents every day involving deaths and / or injuries. How to improve this situation that no European state would tolerate? How to sustainably consolidate military gains? Via a “civil and political burst” as decided at the G5 and Sahel Coalition Summit held in N’Djamena last February” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in his blog.

“In the fight against instability in the Sahel, it is not enough to reconquer territories by force. The challenge is above all to regain the confidence of the populations. They want to see school teachers, doctors, judges . As much, if not more, than the military. ”
“In the fight against instability in the Sahel, it is not enough to reconquer territories by force. The challenge is above all to regain the confidence of the populations: they expect an exemplary State and access to basic services that respect human rights. They hope for the return of the state, everywhere and for all. They want to see school teachers, doctors, judges. As much, if not more, than the military. It was a central subject of the mission which took me in recent days to Mauritania, then to Chad and Mali.
“The Sahel is one of the regions of the world where the Union and its member states are most committed to peace, stability and development.”
“As already expressed on this blog several times (see here and there), the Sahel is one of the regions of the world where the Union and its member states are most committed to peace, stability and development. Between 2014 and 2020, the EU and its member states allocated 8.5 billion euros in development aid, humanitarian aid, security and defense. The Union has also deployed three Common Security and Defense Policy missions in the region. However, I had not yet had the opportunity to go there, my previous visits having been canceled due to the health situation.

“My trip this week comes at a pivotal moment. After the strengthening of the military action decided at the Pau Summit in early 2020, the G5 Sahel Summit (Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad) and the Sahel Coalition which was held in Ndjamena in Chad there is a few weeks, this time focused on the return of the rule of law and public services in fragile areas. It is also the central axis of the new strategy for the Sahel that the Council of the EU has just adopted. It is about this reorientation that I wanted to discuss with my interlocutors on site.

“The enormous challenges facing the region fuel the activity of terrorist groups and contribute to the development of drug and human trafficking. Threatening to destabilize neighboring regions and ultimately Europe.”

CHAD: FACT ready for ceasefire

Brussels 25.04.2021 The rebels, known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), intruded over the northern border from Libya on April 11 calling for an end to Deby’s 30-year rule. They came as close as 200-300 km (125-185 miles) from the capital N’Djamena before being pushed back by the army.
“FACT is ready to observe a ceasefire for a political settlement that respects the independence and sovereignty of Chad and does not endorse a coup d’etat,” FACT spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol said.

Deby was killed on Monday, April 19, while visiting troops at the frontline, just after he won an election one more time. His death shocked the Central African country, which has long been a Western ally against Islamist militants. However the circumstances of his death remain unclear.

The air force has since bombarded rebel positions, the military and rebels said. The military said on Saturday it had “annihilated” the rebels.

After Deby’s death, a military council headed by his son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, seized power and said it would oversee an 18-month transition to elections. Opposition politicians called this a coup, and the rebels said they would not accept a “monarchy”.

CHAD: Deby death events ambiguous

Brussels 23.04.2021 The rumours and speculations around the events of late Chad President Idriss Deby multiples. Officially Idriss Déby Itno died as a warrior, leading his army. According to the Chadian military, which broke the news on state television, the newly re-elected president died of “injuries received at the front”, located 300 km north of the capital N’Djamena.

“The President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Head of the Armed Forces, Idriss Déby Itno, has just had his last breath in defending territorial integrity on the battlefield. It is with deep bitterness that we announce to the Chadian people the death on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 of Marshal of Chad “, announced the spokesman of the army General Azem Bermandoa Agouna.

On Saturday, April 17, intense fighting of the Chadian army against a column of rebels advancing towards the capital N’Djamena were reported. This Libyan-based rebel group, the Front Front for Change and Concord in Chad (abbreviation FACT in French language), had advanced south after attacking a border post.

According to army spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna, Chadian government forces halted the rebel advance in a battle that took place the same day in Kanem province. Five government soldiers were killed and 36 others reported injured. On the rebel side, the losses would have been much heavier: N’Djamena speaks of more than 300 rebels killed and 150 prisoners, however the information war is suspected, while the facts are difficult to verify. However, videos show dozens of rebels captured by government troops, just as they also show drops of equipment and ammunition that could only have been carried out by France.

On Monday evening, April 19, a meeting between late President Déby and the FACT leaders would have taken place in Mao city, close to the border of the Sahara desert. There is a word that this meeting could have degenerated into a fight causing the death of Déby and four of his generals.

This sudden death caused the dissolution of the Assembly and the establishment of a military body (the Transitional Military Council, CMT) which ensures power. At its head is one of the Marshal’s sons: General Mahamat Déby Itno (37), who commands the Presidential Guard, the promotion that angers FACT rebels, insisting that Chad is not a monarchy.

Déby, 68, a career soldier who seized power in 1990 following a coup d’état, promoted to the rank of Marshal last August, had just been re-elected for a 6-year term with 79.32% of the votes cast, according to provisional results announced Monday, April 19, evening by the national electoral body.

The Chadian president was often considered as a stabilising element in a tormented region even if the turbulent Déby mistreated his world and especially his opponents. But it appeared to be the stabilising element of a tormented region, with states as failed as Libya, the Central African Republic or Sudan. And when the fire burned in the Sahel and in Central Africa, he answered present, unleashing his warriors who can be found today in Mali in the ranks of the UN and those of the Joint Force of the G5 Sahel.

Borrell meets Niger President

Brussels 22.04.2021 During his visit to Chad the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell has met the President of Niger Mohamed Bazoum in N’Djamena, the capital of the Republic of Chad. After the talks he EU diplomat has issued the following statement: “We shared with the President, the analysis of the situation. I found in him very wise words, of understanding the situation, emphasising the need to guarantee the stability of Chad, and at the same time to return to constitutional normality as soon as possible. These two goals: stability, to ensure that the transition is going to take place in an orderly fashion and that this transition lasts as little [long] as possible and that this leads again to constitutional normality.
Niger’s role is fundamental. It is a big neighbour of Chad. In general, all the Sahelian countries are committed, all together and the European Union, also to help this transition, by guaranteeing stability and the return to normality, I repeat, constitutional.”

The President of the Republic, Head of State, His Excellency Mohamed Bazoum has been receiving the Vice President of the European Commission, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign and Political Affairs, Mr Joseph Borell.

Rencontré à N’Djamena le Président du Niger Mohamedbazoum
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Quelques semaines après un processus électoral historique, l’UE réaffirme la volonté de poursuivre notre partenariat, et de soutenir le premier transfert démocratique de l’histoire du pays.

SAHEL: Deby death events arcane

Brussels 20.04.2021 President Idriss Deby has died of wounds suffered on the front line in the country’s north, while visiting soldiers battling insurgents, the Chad armed forces said.
The exact circumstances of Deby’s death remain arcane. As a Commander-in-chief Deby had been leading his army during the weekend as it battled rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day on April 11.

Recognised as a brilliant military strategist who has been able to survive numerous coup d’état attempts and rebellions, Deby never hesitated to lead soldiers on the battlefront. Last year, he took the title of Field Marshal of Chad.

On Monday, April 19, the army had claimed a “great victory” in its battle against the rebels intruding from neighbouring Libya, claiming it had killed 300 fighters, with the loss of five soldiers in its own ranks during eight days of combat.

The rebel raid in the provinces of Tibesti and Kanem was carried out by the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), based in Libya. The group has a neutrality pact with Marshal Khalifa Haftar controlling Libya’s oil-rich East.

FACT, a group mainly made up of the Saharan Dazaga (sometimes referred to as Gourane, an Arabian exonym Goran people), said in a statement Sunday, April 18, that it had “liberated” the Kanem region. The events in the remote desert combat zones are hard to verify.

A military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son, four-star General Mahamat Idriss Deby, would take a lead for the next 18 month transition period. A curfew has been imposed in the capital N’Djamena and the country’s borders have been shut in the wake of the President’s sudden death.

Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television on Tuesday, April 20, a day after Deby was declared the winner of a presidential election.

Deby was a herder’s son from the Zaghawa Sahelian Muslim ethnic group who took the classic path to power through the army ranks, and relished the military culture.

Diplomats leave N’Djamena

Brussels 20.04.2021 The U.S. State Dept has ordered all government employees at the US Embassy in Chad to leave as rebel fighters approach the capital, N’Djamena. The UK has also urged its citizens to leave the country. France has been assisting Chad put down the rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).

FACT spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol claimed that rebels had “liberated” Kanem region and were still trying push away the remaining state security forces.

“We reassure the population of the city of N’Djamena and its surrounding area, in particular diplomatic personnel, United Nations staff, partners, and expatriates working in Chad, to remain calm and to avoid any non-essential travel outside the city,” Ogouzeimi said in a statement posted to Facebook.

A group of 14 opposition leaders, who had called for their supporters to boycott the election, signed a petition on Sunday calling for a ceasefire to allow for an “inclusive national dialogue.”

Chadian president Deby has been killed, according to state television. What started off a week ago as a small incursion from Libya by Chadian rebels and tribe members has ended in a political crisis.

SAHEL: President Deby son takes lead

Brussels 20.04.2021 The Chadian army have confirmed that General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general who is the son of slain president Idriss Deby Itno, will replace him at the head of a military council.

Mahamat Mahadi Ali, head of the Change and Concord in Chad group, said Deby went to visit the combat zone on Sunday,April 18, near to Nokou, close to Niger border, about 280 kilometres north of the capital N’Djamena, in the Kanem region, in western Chad.

As part of measures following Deby’s death the country’s constitution has been suspended and Chad will be ruled by a military council led by Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, for 18 months.

Deby’s son had served as an officer in the Chadian army and was until Tuesday, April 20, morning the head of the presidential guard.

Deby was seen as a strong ally of France and had earlier this year announced a deployment of Chadian troops to bolster the G5 Sahel force operating in Mali.

N’Djamena is also home to a French military base, which supports France’s Operation Barkhane, focused on fighting Islamist insurgents in Mali.

Chad: killings in N’Djamena

At least two people were killed after security forces went to arrest Chad’s opposition candidate Yaya Dillo at his home on Sunday morning, February 28, Dillo and the government said.

Dillo, who plans to run against President Idriss Deby in a presidential election in April, told he was attacked at home by members of the presidential guard and that five family members were killed, including his mother.

The government said in a statement that security forces went to Dillo’s home to arrest him after he refused to respond to two judicial mandates and were met with armed resistance. It did not say what the mandates were concerning.

Two people were killed and five wounded in the ensuing fight, including three policemen, it said.

Internet has been cut off in N’Djamena since early Sunday morning, a witness said.

Dillo said his house has been surrounded by government forces since the incident.

Dillo is a formal rebel leader who fought against Deby in 2006 before joining his government and becoming a minister. More recently, he served as Chad’s representative to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

He is one of 16 people who have announced they will run against Deby in April’s election.

Deby, who has been in power since 1990, pushed through a new constitution in 2018 that reinstated term limits but could let him stay in power until 2033.

Hundreds took to the streets earlier this month to protest his candidacy in the upcoming election.

Deby has faced strikes and protests in recent years over economic woes caused by low oil prices and armed rebellions in the north, but has drawn on his effective control of state media and institutions to maintain political dominance.

Chad is a key ally of Western nations in the fight against Islamist militants in West and Central Africa.

SAHEL: Chad to deploy thousand troops

Chad will deploy some 1,000 troops in Sahel to the tri-border region of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali to reinforce national armies that, backed by French and European allies, are battling Islamist groups, according to French and Chadian sources. (Image: illustration).

The deployment will be announced during a summit on February 15-16 in the Chadian capital N’Djamena held to tackle the situation in the Sahel, a French presidency official and a senior Chadian security official said.

The move is announced while France, which sent troops to the region in 2013 to repel jihadists who had occupied northern Mali, considers adjusting its military presence. This could entail France pulling some of the 5,100 soldiers that are involved in counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel.

Although France has claimed military successes against Islamist insurgents over the past year, it is searching for an exit strategy. The grinding operation has cost billions of euros and left 55 French soldiers dead, yet violence is persisting with signs it is spreading to coastal West Africa.

The French official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said President Emmanuel Macron could decide to hold off for a few weeks before adjusting his forces as he continues to consult with Sahel and European partners on the way forward.

“We now have very encouraging signals of an imminent deployment of the Chadian battalion,” the official told reporters in a briefing ahead of the summit. Financing from partner countries and equipment from France had been secured.

Chadian troops were last year mostly engaged in fighting insurgents from Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa in the Lake Chad region.

Chad’s armed forces are among the most respected and battle hardened in West Africa, a reputation forged during decades of regional wars and rebellions, and honed in the 2013 campaign in the deserts of northern Mali.

Their deployment to the tri-border theatre would enable French and other forces to re-orient their military mission to central Mali and to target Islamist leaders linked to al Qaeda.

The Chadian security source said the troops were already en route to the tri-border region, known as Liptako-Gourma, a region slightly larger than Germany, where the allies are trying to wrest back control of terrain from the insurgents.

Niger’s ruling party presidential candidate Mohamed Bazoum told a campaign rally in the Tillabery region, situated in Liptako-Gourma, that Chadian troops will be based there.

EU welcomes Chad death penalty abolilition

On May 20, Chad adopted a new anti-terrorism law that no longer includes the death penalty for terrorism-related crimes, with life imprisonment as the maximum sentence. With this law, Chad has become the 22nd African state to abolish the death penalty for all crimes in law.

It is a strong signal to other countries in the world and contributes to the gradual abolition of the death penalty in Africa. 80% of the member states of the African Union are already abolitionist by law or apply a moratorium” reads the statement of the spokesperson of the European External Action Service.

“The European Union strongly opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.

“The Chad decision is also a step towards harmonizing the G5 Sahel’s legal framework in the fight against terrorism. In their Joint Declaration of 28 April 2020, the members of the European Council and the member states of the G5 Sahel stressed the importance of ensuring respect for human rights and international humanitarian law in the conduct of their actions”.

Image: Chad army celebrating victory of military operation

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