News ID: 302558
Published: 0236 GMT April 27, 2021

At least two dead, 27 hurt as Chad protesters demand civilian rule

At least two dead, 27 hurt as Chad protesters demand civilian rule
ZOHRA BENSEMRA/REUTERS

Members of the security forces patrol Chad's capital, N'Djamena, following the death of President Idriss Deby on April 26, 2021.

At least two people were killed and 27 injured in Chad on Tuesday as demonstrators took to the streets demanding a return to civilian rule after the military took control following President Idriss Deby's death last week.

Tensions have risen in Chad following Deby's death and the military transition is struggling to win over a population exhausted by 30 years of monolithic, autocratic rule, Reuters reported.

A health official at a hospital in the capital N'Djamena, who requested anonymity, confirmed the death of a man in his 20s who was brought into the emergency ward along with 27 other people injured during Tuesday's protests.

Witnesses also reported the death of another protester in Moundou, Chad's second largest city.

A spokesman for the ruling military council said security forces were attempting to contain the protesters while limiting material damage.

The military council seized power after Deby was killed as he visited troops fighting rebels on April 19.

Some opposition politicians have called the military takeover a coup and asked supporters to protest, even as the army appointed a civilian politician, Albert Pahimi Padacke, as prime minister of a transitional government on Monday.

The military council banned protests in a statement on Monday evening, saying no demonstrations that could lead to disorder were allowed while the country was still in mourning.

Headed by Deby's son Mahamat Idriss Deby, who was declared president, the military council has said it will oversee an 18-month transition to elections.

"We do not want our country to become a monarchy," said 34-year-old protester Mbaidiguim Marabel. "The military must return to the barracks to make way for a civilian transition."

Trucks loaded with soldiers were seen patrolling the streets around central N'Djamena.

Police responded with tear gas as protesters burned tires in several neighborhoods of N'Djamena early on Tuesday. A Reuters witness said firefighters struggled to contain a blaze which was large enough to be seen from far away.

The council is coming under international pressure to hand over power to civilians as soon as possible. The African Union has expressed "grave concern" about the military takeover, while France, the former colonial ruler, and some of Chad's neighbors are pushing for a civilian-military solution.

Anti-French sentiment was running high among the protesters, who blamed France for having backed the Deby regime against the will of the people. Posts on social media showed protesters burning a French flag.

 

 

 

   
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