Chadian authorities must stop the brutal repression of peaceful protesters and ensure an immediate democratic transition in Chad, says global civil society alliance CIVICUS. Unrest is likely to continue if the military does not allow for a civilian-led government.
On 8 May 2021, security forces used violence against peaceful protesters who denounced a military takeover in Chad following the death of long-term President Idriss Déby Itno on 20 April 2021.
More than 5 people were killed and several others wounded during similar protests held on 27 April. Led by a coalition of civil society groups and members of the political opposition, the protests condemn the continuation of a Chad dynasty after President Déby’s son, General Mahamat Idriss Déby, succeeded his father and appointed a military transitional government.
“The Chadian military has once again chosen to ignore an opportunity to put in place democratic reforms, reset Chad’s political trajectory and respect constitutional and international human rights obligations. The military continues a pattern of violence over dialogue and continues to trample on democratic norms,” said David Kode, Advocacy and Campaigns Lead for CIVICUS
Ahead of Chad’s recent elections in April 2021, the authorities imposed a ban on peaceful protests to deter members of civil society and the political opposition from protesting President Idriss Déby Itno’s decision to stand for a sixth term in office. In February 2021, more than 100 people were arrested for protesting and several were later charged with disturbing public order. President Idriss Déby was killed fighting rebels in April. Since then, civil society and the political opposition have been protesting the Transitional Military Council and calling for a return to civilian rule.
Civic space in Chad is rated as Repressed by the CIVICUS Monitor.