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Chad Peace Talks to Continue Despite Over 20 Rebel Groups Backing Out

Several rebel factions in Chad have withdrawn their participation from negotiations with the country’s ruling military council on Saturday, 16 July.

Chad Peace Talks to Continue Despite Over 20 Rebel Groups Backing Out

Chad peace talks

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The two parties formally opened the peace talks in March in Doha, Qatar, as a way forward to help remedy the decades of violence and unrest. Groups including Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT, by its French acronym), Movement for Democracy and Justice in Chad, and the Union of Forces for Democracy and Development received invitations to the national dialogue. These negotiations aimed to create a smooth and transparent journey towards the highly anticipated elections. However, political unrest in Chad persisted in 2021 when President Idriss Deby was fatally wounded while opposing rebel groups that were attempting to topple his government. His son, Mohamad Idriss Deby, subsequently assumed control and dissolved parliament. Rebel groups expressed their displeasure with Deby’s actions by denouncing his ascension as “.” As per the country’s constitution, the proper protocol to follow should a president succumb is that the National Assembly president takes over in the interim leading up to elections. , which had been set by President Deby for 20 August a few hours prior, as they felt excluded from the event. Pre-talks have occurred in Doha, and these have been a benchmark as to whether the main national dialogue would even happen as the rebel groups expected the fulfillment of specific requirements before they agreed to participate. However, a statement revealed that the groups had experienced harassment, intimidation, threats, and disinformation from the government. Human Rights Watch (HRW) released an article in April that expressed concern over the worsening state of rights in Chad. The organisation stated, “Chad’s allies should tell him [Deby] that the military council; should reverse course, respect and protect Chadians’ right to peaceful protest.” Expressing his disappointment in how proceedings have panned out as well as their treatment at the hands of the government: the head of the Popular Front for National Renaissance (FPRN), Adoum Yacoub, said in a press conference on Monday, 18 July that, “It takes two to negotiate, both to make peace and war. For the moment, we find ourselves alone.”According to a source, however, the pre-talk will continue despite the exit of these rebel groups. A letter signed by multiple factions in Chad confirms that the talk will go as scheduled. “To give a chance to the peace so longed for by the Chadian people, we shall not suspend ongoing negotiations…We thank the State of Qatar for its mediation and renew to it our full confidence,” the letter details. The HRW has also claimed that Deby arrests objectors and threatens critics nationwide. Deby, however, has denied the validity of these claims.

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