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France backs Chad’s military takeover, says it’s necessary for security

France backs Chad’s military takeover, says it’s necessary for security
April 22
18:12 2021

Jean-Yves Le Drian, France’s foreign minister, has defended the military takeover of power in Chad.

Mahamat Deby, son of the late Idriss Deby of Chad, was appointed to lead a military council set up after the death of his father.

The late Chadian president was confirmed dead on Tuesday following injuries sustained in a fight with the rebels.

The military council said the transitional period would last for 18 months, while the country’s parliament was dissolved and the constitution suspended.

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However, a charter released on Wednesday named 37-year-old Mahamat as the new president of the country.

The constitution states that in the absence of the president or in case he dies, the speaker of the parliament takes charge of the country for 40 days and a transition is put in place until elections are held.

But after the parliament was dissolved, speaker Haroun Kabadi said he had agreed to a military transition with “full lucidity given the military, security and political context”.

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In an interview on Thursday with France TV, Le Drian reportedly said the takeover was as the result of an “exceptional situation”.

“Normally, the president of the Chadian National Assembly should have taken the head of the country, he should have taken the transition but he refused. There is such seriousness in Chad, that from the moment the president of the national assembly says: ‘I want a military council to ensure the security of the country but the transition must be possible, engage in a calm, democratic, transparent and rapid manner’, this is the time to do so from the moment when security is really established,” Le Drian was quoted to have said.

He, however, expressed worry about Chad, adding that “we have to be very vigilant”.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have condemned the takeover, describing it as “the institutional coup d’etat conducted by the generals”.

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Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a group formed by dissident army officers who claimed responsibility for the injuries that killed the late president, also rejected the military’s plan.

The rebels said they had halted their advance into N’Djamena, Chad’s capital, until after the late Deby’s burial.

“The forces of national resistance are more than ever determined to deliver the Chadian people from this abominable dictatorship,” the rebels said in a statement.

“We don’t want to seize power to hold power. Our objective is for democratic transitions to be a reality.”

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They also warned foreign leaders against going to Deby’s funeral on Friday “for imperatives of security”.

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to attend to the funeral.

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