AFRICA/CHAD - After clashes: fate of opposition politician Yaya Dillo uncertain

Thursday, 29 February 2024 military   violence  

N'Djamena (Agenzia Fides) - "Rumors are circulating about the assassination of Yaya Dillo, but at the moment there is no confirmation", report to Fides local sources from N'Djamena, capital of Chad, where the armed forces yesterday, February 28, attacked the headquarters of the Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF), of which Dillo is the president.
"The clashes began around 1 p.m. and lasted at least half an hour, with heavy weapons also being used," the sources said. "The army has regained control of the PSF headquarters, but there are no official estimates of the number of victims nor concrete information about the fate of Yaya Dillo". "The information vacuum," Fides sources add, "is exacerbated by the interruption of telephone and Internet connections since yesterday afternoon. At the moment, telephone connections have been restored, but the Internet is still blocked." "State television has not commented on yesterday's events, but it has been announced that a government statement will be released later today," said the sources, who report that "the situation is calm today, but N'Djamena remains heavily guarded by police and army . The military has completely surrounded the presidential residence." Yaya Dillo and his party are accused of storming the headquarters of the security services to free the party's financial secretary, who was arrested for inciting an assassination attempt on the President of the Supreme Court (see Fides, 28/2/2024). The unrest came after the announcement of the calendar for Chad's presidential elections, the first round of which is scheduled to take place on May 6. "If the death of Yaya Dillo is confirmed, the question arises as to how the presidential elections will be carried out in the absence of the outgoing president's strongest opponent," say our sources, who conclude by emphasizing that "the crisis at the moment is exclusively within the clan of President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno and the Zaghawa ethnic group, to which the President and most of the protagonists of the conflict belong". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 29/2/2024)