AFRICA/CHAD - The Episcopal Conference: "Enough of the blood and tears of Chadians"

Tuesday, 30 May 2023 bishops   violence  

N'Djamena (Agenzia Fides) - "The blood and tears of Chadians have shed enough and must stop" warn the Bishops of Chad in a memorandum addressed to the President of the Transition, Acting Head of State, Mahamat Idriss Déby.
The Episcopal Conference of Chad (CET) is asking the government to address the problems afflicting the population, such as the spread of insecurity, the shortage of basic necessities and the composition of the national Commission in charge of organizing the constitutional referendum (Conerec).
According to the Bishops, it is hard to believe that the killings and shortages of basic necessities in Chad are contingent and accidental. "These situations, created voluntarily or out of ignorance, pose challenges to all of us, but above all to the rulers who have set themselves the sole objective of guaranteeing the safety and well-being of their people", they say.
"The list of bloody conflicts and victims of violence is long and macabre", underlines the Chadian Episcopal Conference, "in Salamat, in Moyen Chari, in the two Logones, Mayo Kebbi East and West, both in the East and in the West of the country and in the center of Guéra, the desolation is the same and the list is not exhaustive". Last week, dozens of people lost their lives in clashes between farmers and shepherds in Bahr Sara, 600 km southeast of N "Djamena, the country's capital. Among the serious shortages of basic necessities is fuel, a paradox, the memorandum points out, for an oil-exporting country.
"The Government must act impartially and in the name of the law, if it does not want to be accused of being its author and of using terror as a means to govern, maintain or preserve power," the document states, referring to to the violent repression, on October 20, 2022, of the demonstrations called to protest against the stay in power for another two years of the President of Transition Mahamat Déby (see Fides, 25/10/2022).
On May 24, the latter pardoned 67 people convicted of participating in the October 20 demonstration, and another 11 for a foiled "coup" in December, according to N'Djamena authorities.
Following the death of his father, Idriss Déby, on April 20, 2021, Mahamat Déby took power, suspending the Constitution, and headed a Transitional Council. Mahamat Déby promised to immediately return power to civilians through elections after an 18-month transition period. But at the end of his term, he had extended his mandate for two years on the recommendation of a national reconciliation dialogue boycotted by the almost majority of the civil opposition (and in which even the Episcopal Conference decided not to participate, see Fides, 5/9/ 2022) and by the main armed rebel movements.
Finally, let us remember that Chad is affected by the effects of the war between military factions in Sudan (see Fides, 22/4/2023)) from where people continue to flee the violence. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 30/5/2023)