Reflecting the Mind of the Vatican since 1850
West Africa in Turmoil
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A new wind of extra-constitutional government change is blowing north from central Africa and now is in the west of the continent. In April 2021, Chad’s President, Idriss Déby, who had recently been re-elected, died at the front as FACT (Front for Alternation and Concord in Chad) rebels from the north of the country threatened his regime. His son, Mahamat, 37, an army general, took over the leadership of the country, despite the fact that the constitution stipulated that, in the event of the death or incapacity of the president, the president of the National Assembly should take over in the interim. Mahamat Idriss Déby dissolved the National Assembly, dismissed the government and established a Transitional Military Council, composed of 15 generals. It was therefore a takeover of power by a military junta.

Although it cannot be called a coup, the rules of democracy were violated. The surprising thing is that everyone agreed not to sanction the new Chadian authorities. The African Union, through its Peace and Security Council, called for an 18-month transition, but did not sanction the junta. This is contrary to the Lomé Convention of 2000 and the Constitutive Act of the African Union of the same year.

France, after declaring that it had “lost a brave friend” in the person of Idriss Déby, stressed the importance of a peaceful transition of limited duration, leading to a civilian government, and its firm commitment to the stability and territorial integrity of Chad. The United States, for its part, was content to call for a peaceful and democratic transition. The European Union’s head of diplomacy, Josep Borrell, has called for a limited, peaceful transition that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms and allows for the preparation of new elections that are open to all.
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2022
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