Protests against Chad’s Transitional Military Council continue

Chairman of the Transitional Military Council, Mahamat Idriss Deby, son of late Chadian President Idriss Deby at the latter's funeral in N'Djamena, 23 April 2021. Christophe Petit/ Pool via Reuters

As reported previously on the Monitor, a Transitional Military Council (CMT) was installed in April 2021, for a period of 18 months, following the Military’s announcement that President Déby had died in combat, while the National Assembly and the government were dissolved, and the Constitution suspended.

In August 2021, the CMT nominated about 70 members for the Organising Committee for the Inclusive National Dialogue, an organ that is meant to organise a national dialogue in the coming months in preparation for the presidential and legislative elections. On 31st August 2021, several actors joined hands to demand an inclusive transition, including the Groupe de Réflexion et d’Action pour l’Appel du 1 Juin 2021 (Reflection and Action Group for the Appeal of 1st June 2021), which consists of Chadian public figures such as former ministers and academics, and Wakit Tama, a coalition of opposition and civil society groups. Their ‘Statement of Chadian organisations for a transition inclusive of all vital forces of the nation’ outlines concerns about the inclusivity and sincerity of the dialogue and the transition.

Peaceful Assembly

Protests against Chad’s Transitional Military Council continue

Protests against Chad’s Transitional Military Council continued in July and August 2021. As reported previously on the Monitor, protests to demand a return to civilian rule in April and May 2021 were banned and repressed by security officers, killing several people and arresting over 700 people.

On 29th July and 7th August 2021, protests organised by Wakit Tama and other organisations took place in Chad’s capital N’Djamena, gathering hundreds of people. The N’Djamena protests, which were on both occasions authorised by authorities, was organised against the Transitional Military Council and the transition process, deemed to be non-inclusive and lacking transparency. Among the protesters on 7th August 2021 were unemployed graduates, members of the Association of Victims of Crimes and Political Repression of Hissène Habré, who are still to see compensation, and pensioners demanding the payment of pensions arrears.

Organisers cancelled the protest planned for 21st August 2021 as authorities authorised the protest for only three of the organisations that had signed the request for authorisation, with other members of the Wakit Tama coalition banned from organising the protest. Wakit Tama announced the next protest to take place on 4th September 2021.


Human rights defender released from prison

On 10th June 2021, human rights defender Baradine Berdei Targuio was released from prison. As reported previously on the Monitor, the president of the human rights organisation Organisation Tchadienne des Droits Humains (OTDH) was arrested at his home in N’ Djamena on 24th January 2020 following the publication of a Facebook post alleging that president Déby was ill and hospitalised in France. After spending more than a year in pre-trial detention, Berdei Targuio was sentenced, on 18 February 2021, to a prison sentence of three years for ‘violation of the constitutional order’.