Chad: Dozens Killed as Protesters Demand Civilian Rule

Chad: Dozens Killed as Protesters Demand Civilian Rule
Last updated Oct 21, 2022
Image credit: AFP/Getty Images [via The Guardian]


  • On Thursday, around 50 people were killed and nearly 300 injured in Chad's capital city of N’Djamena, among other cities, after security forces cracked down on protesters calling for a return to elections.
  • The central African nation's political crisis began after Pres. Idriss Deby died in April 2021, with his son Mahamat Deby becoming transitional president. After originally promising an election within 18 months, on Oct. 1 Mahamat pushed the election date back another two years.
  • During Idriss Deby's 30-year reign, which began after a coup in 1990, he cracked down on political opposition and human rights and oversaw a struggling national economy.
  • With Thursday's protest crackdown appearing to be the most violent since Mahamat took power last year, the government declared a state of emergency and curfew. It also banned the activities of the civil society coalition known as "Wakit Tamma."
  • Security forces have cracked down on several protests denouncing the military takeover and former colonizer France's backing of the transitional government. In May, forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protests when French-associated businesses were destroyed in the violence.
  • Mahamat Deby has appointed a unity government headed by PM Saleh Kebzabo, though analysts worry violent protests and military responses could worsen. The headquarters of Kebzabo's UNDR party was attacked by demonstrators “and partially burned down.”


Pro-establishment narrative

Despite the current turbulence, Mahamat Deby is more accepting of both domestic political opponents and foreign rivals than his father was. Though still a strongman, he is a necessary ally in the fight against Jihadism and a politically stable choice for dialogue between the regime and the opposition.

Establishment-critical narrative

Mahamat Deby is a violent authoritarian like his father, and the majority of people and rebel groups are aligned in opposition to him. He broke his promise to hold elections by now, which proves he will continue to attack, imprison, and suppress his way toward an indefinite rule. His rule is not good for the democratic future of Chad.

Establishment split



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