Chad military junta, armed groups sign national dialog agreement

Cairo, Aug 8 (EFE).- Chad’s military junta and several armed opposition groups in the country signed a peace agreement Monday in Qatar that paves the way for a national dialog and presidential elections in the country, Qatari state news agency QNA reported.

The signatories committed to laying down arms and avoiding military actions for political or ethnic reasons inside and outside the country, the formation of a government of national reconciliation and a committee that supervises constitutional reform and that of the army, QNA said.

They also agreed to participate in the national dialog, sponsored by Qatar and organized by the Transitional Military Council, chaired by Mahamat Idriss Deby, in power since the death of his father Idriss Deby – who ruled the country for 30 years – was announced in April 2021.

“Constructive dialogue is the only way to achieve the aspirations of the Chadian people,” said Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abderrahman al Thani, who asked “other (armed) groups” to adhere to the agreement “for a comprehensive reconciliation.”

The agreement, the result of negotiations that began in March in Doha, was not signed by some armed movements, which could lead to insufficient guarantees for the success of the national dialog scheduled for Aug. 20 in N’Djamena.

The ceremony was attended by African Union, European Union and United Nations representatives, whose presence “constitutes a guarantee” for the success of the so-called “Doha peace agreement”, Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mayed al Ansari told Qatari television channel Al Jazeera.

Al Ansari said 43 Chadian political groups and armed factions had signed the Doha pact with the junta, adding that the national dialogue on the 20th in N’Djamena “will already be a matter for the Transitional Council,” and that “Qatar will continue with its work in sponsoring the negotiations.”

Several rebel groups in Chad suspended their participation in the Doha negotiations in mid-July after denouncing “destabilizing maneuvers maintained within the various groups by the government delegation,” and rejecting “the bad working climate prevailing” in the talks in Qatar.

The political-military leaders of the Rome Group, the Doha Group and the National Coordinator for Change and Reform also condemned in a joint statement the “almost total absence” of a plenary session and, therefore, of debates between them and the government delegation.

Chad has been under the power of the junta since President Idriss Deby Itno – who had ruled the country since 1990 – died in April 2021 during violent clashes between rebels and the Chadian army.

After taking power, the junta annulled the constitution and dissolved the government and parliament, although it vowed to hold free and democratic elections, after a national dialog, within 18 months.

From the beginning, the leader of the junta has had the support of the international community, led by France, the European Union and the African Union, since the Chadian Army is one of the pillars of the war against Jihadist groups in the Sahel region. EFE


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