Chad: Military Claims Victory Over Northern Rebels
The military and authorities have previously said they have defeated the FACT rebel group only for fighting to continue.
Chad’s military has claimed victory in in its weeks long battle with northern rebels that led to the death of the President Idriss Deby on the front line. The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in the Chad FACT did not respond to a request for the comment on the military’s claim on the sunday. The transitional military authorities
have previously said they have defeated the rebels only for the fighting to continue. The fighting and a broader political instability are being closely watched. Chad is a key power in central Africa and a longtime Western ally against rebel fighters across the Sahel region. Crowds in the capital N’Djamena cheered on Sunday as soldiers
returned from the front line in a column of tanks and armoured vehicles. The triumphant return of the army to the barracks today heralds the end of operations and the Chad’s victory,” the army’s Chief of the General Staff Abakar Abdelkerim Daoud told all reporters. At an army base in N’Djamena, dozens of captured rebels sat in the dirt, and on display for the assembled press.
A group of captured FACT rebels are displayed together with their confiscated weapons and vehicles at the headquarters of the Chadian Army in N’Djamena
FACT fighters crossed the border from Libya in the April to take a stand against Deby, whose 30-year rule they opposed. His subsequent death while visiting troops plunged the country into crisis. On Saturday, security forces fired tear gas to disperse a protest against the ruling military council. Led by the Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss Itno, the council seized power after the former’s
death, promising to oversee an 18 month transition to elections. Opposition politicians and civil society have also denounced the takeover as a coup and called for supporters to take to the streets and at least five people were also killed during a protest on the April 27. French President Emmanuel Macron had also signalled strong backing of the military during Deby’s funeral which he
attended, sitting next to Deby’s son Mahamat. But the French government has since shifted, also calling for a civilian national unity government. People had planned a further protest on Sunday, but postponed it out of fear the authorities had also planned to suppress it violently, Mahamat Nour Ibedou, a very prominent human rights activist, told the media. The military council had given permission for a protest on the Sunday.