Chad police fire tear gas to disperse anti-junta gathering in N’Djamena

Chadian demonstrators carry banners with anti-France slogans as they demonstrate in N’Djamena on May 8, 2021.
Chadian demonstrators carry banners with anti-France slogans as they demonstrate in N’Djamena on May 8, 2021. © Djimet Wiche, AFP

Chadian police on Saturday shot a protester and arrested about 20 others defying a ban to demonstrate against the junta that took power after veteran ruler Idriss Deby Itno died fighting rebels.


Only a few dozens of people took to the streets in sporadic groups after military authorities late Friday banned the protest called by the Wakit Tama grouping of opposition political parties and civil society bodies.

"Some 20 people have been detained by the security forces and a single person was injured by a live bullet," N'Djamena prosecutor Youssouf Tom told AFP.

"The policeman who fired the shot had taken drugs and was finally arrested and will answer for his action," he added.

Police used tear gas to break up a gathering in a southern district of the capital N'Djamena, an AFP reporter said, adding that security forces had deployed in numbers across the city.

A small group of people burnt a French flag in a northern area. France, Chad's former colonial ruler, was a traditional backer of Deby and is seen by some as supporting the junta that seized power after Deby's death.

Wakit Tama coordinator Max Loalngar said a dozen people had been hurt, three seriously, and about 15 arrested.

He accused the authorities of "showing bad faith and their war posture when we are asking for an inclusive dialogue to allow all Chadians without exclusion to seek the means for an honourable end to the crisis".

The Transitional Military Council (CMT) took charge on April 20, the day that Deby's shock death was announced. It is headed by Deby's son Mahamat, a four-star general.

Protests broke out almost immediately and have been brutally quashed, resulting in six deaths according to officials, and nine according to NGOs.

Over 600 people have been arrested.

Mahamat Idriss Deby has pledged to hold "free and democratic" elections in 18 months. He has named a transitional government that is overwhelmingly dominated by ruling party figures and stalwarts of the old regime.

Chad claims that the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a large armed group with a rear base in Libya which mounted an offensive on April 11, is retreating after a government offensive.

>> Challenges ahead for France in navigating Chad's post-Deby transition


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