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April 2023 marked a two-year transition in Chad. The process, which began after the death of President Idriss Déby Itno, was mainly aimed at uniting the Chadian population and restoring the constitutional order. Openness and inclusiveness were key to the transition.
However, despite some progress, there are few serious signs of a return to constitutional order and a civilian transfer of power in the near future. The transition was designed to ensure stability, so this situation is worrying for Chad’s political actors as well as the country’s partners.
Internally, Chadian society remains fragmented and the political community is as divided as ever. The transitional authorities seem to be firmly focused on the upcoming deadlines, namely the new constitution, the referendum and the elections. But calls for inclusion and dialogue from political and civil actors and Chad’s partners have gone unheeded.
Two meetings, du Doha conferences and the Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue, could be considered a significant step forward. They aimed to consolidate reconciliation and lay the foundations for rebuilding Chad. However, several key figures in the rebellion, along with the political sector and civil society, were left out. In October 2022, the end of the conversation was bloody the protests against the resolutions
These events continue to stir the public opinion of the country. Measures taken by the authorities to ease tensions (such as the release of some protesters and rebels) were widely seen. enough.
Progress in returning to constitutional order and transferring power to civilians has also stalled. Despite the steps taken to create a new constitution, political actors continue to raise concerns about the lack of inclusion. The commissions for drafting the constitution and organizing the constitutional referendum were created in January, and they are working. However, they are dominated by transitional authorities and do not represent the national political community.
For both the transitional government and Chad’s partners, stability is the main goal of this transition. Many national and international observers considered the process unconstitutional. Two years later, the main rebel movements in the far north, such as the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic, the Chadian Front for Change and Concord and the Miski self-defense group, remain active.
Another rebel group, the Southern Revolutionary Movement, is said to have also emerged in the area bordering the Central African Republic. Furthermore, communal clashes are becoming increasingly violent. Last conflictfrom April 15 to 19, it caused 23 deaths in less than 48 hours.
Internationally, in the name of stability, France, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) have made an exception regarding the acquisition of power, and have supported Chad. France is a key partner of Chad in many areas, including development, culture and security. As part of their military cooperation, France does so regularly he intervened Together with the Chadian army to stop the advance of rebel convoys, especially under the late president.
Due to the repeated conflicts in Chad, this aspect of the cooperation between the two nations has gradually become more prominent. The result is that France understands that stability in Chad hardly rises beyond its military capabilities. Unfortunately, this situation has not changed during the transition period. France has maintained its position, paying little attention to human rights and democratic standards.
For the AU, Chad’s transition is on shaky ground. Although the transfer of power went against the provisions of the country’s constitution, the AU decided to adopt a tolerant attitude, which means that it no longer has real ownership of the process.
Unlike the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States in connection with the coups in Mali and Guinea, ECCAS has adopted a more friendly attitude regarding Chad’s transition. He offered his help with an independent investigation into the bloody repression October 20 2022 demonstrations. This consultation is important, but the organization’s full support for the transition at the beginning of the process means that some political and civil actors believe that its approach is appearing. biased.
Given the current situation in Chad, defining stability as a country’s ability to withstand security threats from both external actors and internal rebel groups leaves little room for maneuver. It does not support a radical reconstruction that takes into account social cohesion, human rights and democracy. On the contrary, such an approach risks becoming an excuse to prolong the military transition.
Transitional authorities and their partners must find a better balance between achieving security in the short term and political and social stability in the medium and long term. Inclusivity, accountability and justice must remain the guiding principles to achieve this balance.
Remadji Hoinathy, Senior Researcher, Central Africa and the Great Lakes, Institute for Security Studies (ISS) and Yamingué Bétinbaye, Research Director, Anthropology and Humanities Research Center, N’Djamena, Chad
Research for the article was funded by Irish Aid.
(This article was first published by ISS Today, syndicate partner Premium Times. We have their permission to republish it.)
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