Marine Henriot - Vatican City
Chad’s rebels have, nevertheless, emphasised that the postponement of the talks should not be used as a “pretext for prolonging” the transition to civilian rule.
Reconciliation talks postponed sine die
Observers and the international community fear that the transition period in Chad could exceed the 18-month set deadline. The African Union, in particular, had insisted that the transition period not exceed 18 months. Chadian authorities also agreed to the postponement sine die of the reconciliation talks initially scheduled for 10 May.
In April 2021, Mahamat Déby Itno was appointed head of a Transitional Military Council (TMC) comprising 15 generals. This was after the death of his father, President Idriss Déby, who was killed in a battle with Chadian rebels of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT). Mahamat Déby Itno then promised the transition to civilian rule.
Transitional Military Council and broken promises
In June 2021, however, the new strongman of Chad had already broken his promises by considering an extension of the transition and hinting at a possible candidacy in the next elections.
“He is not behaving like a transitional leader, but like the president of the Republic,” observed Nodjitoloum Salomon, a lawyer and veteran human rights activist in Chad. Salomon believes that instead of advancing the dialogue and ensuring the installation of civil institutions, Mahamat Déby Itno is working on propelling himself as the leader of Chad. Regrettably, said Salomon, Chad’s transitional leader, appears to be in “the process of installing himself.”