Hundreds Protest Against Chad’s Military Junta

Several hundred people took to the streets in Chad’s capital N’Djamena on Thursday to protest against the ruling military junta.

Opposition movement the Transformers party along with several civil society groups had called for people to come out against what they say is “the confiscation of power” by the so-called Transitional Military Council (CMT) that has ruled since the death of President Idriss Deby Itno in April.

The CMT is led by the late president’s son, 37-year-old four-star general Mahamat Idriss Deby, who has consolidated nearly all powers around himself and 14 generals who were close to his father.

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They demanded a national conference to overhaul the junta’s charter and restore democracy in the former French colony.

“We are marching to demand that democracy and justice — the hallmarks of true peace — be re-established,” said a 22-year-old protester who gave his name only as Narcisse, brandishing a sign reading “No to the monarchy”.

Apart from those protesting for full democracy in the country, some are also clamoring for an end to violence, especially violence against women.

Protester Épiphanie Dionrang said, “I came out today to say stop violence against women. Because we women suffer a lot of violence. And today I went out as a citizen, as part of a civil society organization to say no, no to impunity for perpetrators,”

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Some protesters expressed anti-French sentiment with signs reading “France out of Chad”, and by burning French flags.

The ruling junta has said democratic elections will be held at the end of an 18-month transitional period.

But with the parliament having been dissolved and the constitution repealed, many in Chad fear for the future of democracy.

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