Africans Rising lends the power of our solidarity to the protestors calling for peace and democracy in Chad. We condemn the government’s decision to delay elections and security forces’ use of violence in response to protests, which has led to the massacre of over 50 people and the injury of over 300 people. Our movement sends condolences to the families and friends of those whose lives were lost.
For 18 months, Chadians have labored under a military junta (following the death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021) with the promise that in October of this year the country’s leadership would transition to elections. However, on 1 October, it was announced that democratic elections would be pushed back by two years and that interim leader Mahamat Idriss Deby could stay in power.
Rightfully so, Chadians were dismayed by the junta’s abrupt and unilateral decision to delay their dreams of democratic, civilian governance. On Oct 20, the date the military junta was originally planned to end, protestors raised their voices, took to the streets, and made their demands for democracy heard throughout the corridors of the country’s most powerful institutions. Security forces’ violent response to these protestors, with arrests, tear gas and live ammunition, is unthinkable.
We also condemn the outlash against the civil society group Wakit Tama and the killing of journalist Orédjé Narcisse, whose death sends a message of intolerance toward a free press. These oppressive tactics will never lead toward just and fair governance.
We call on the African Union and other international powers to hold the country’s leadership accountable for its promised transition to civilian rule. The Chadian government must not be allowed to operate freely given its blatant violations of human rights. We call on our members to organise in support of those in Chad who are demonstrating for peace and democracy, and to share solidarity messages on social media feeds and through media outlets. Let the people of Chad know we stand with them in growing numbers. Their efforts are not in vain.
For countless years, Africans across the continent have died in the grip of brutal military regimes, but our calls for peace will never be silenced. As a movement of the people, our work continues until we see that civilians and their leaders can live together in unity, justice, peace and dignity. This is the Africa We Want.