March 23, 2023

At least 60 people died during demonstrations in Chad’s two main cities

2 min read


At least 60 people have died in the firing by security forces on the protesters.
There is opposition to the extension of the term of interim leader Mahamat Idris Debbie for two years.
Tension is rising in Chad’s capital.

Enzmina. At least 60 people have been killed when security forces opened fire on protesters protesting the two-year extension of interim leader Mahamat Idris Debbie in Chad. Authorities have imposed curfew after the violence on Thursday. Chadian government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh said at least 30 people were killed in violence in the capital, Enjmina. However, the organizers of the anti-government march in Enzamina have said that 40 people were killed in firing by the security forces. At the same time, according to an official of the morgue in Chad’s second largest city, Moundou, 32 other protesters have been killed in the city.

Debbie was elected interim leader last year after the assassination of her father, who had held power in Chad for decades. Thursday’s demonstration was the most violent of his tenure so far. In April 2021, the then-president Idris Debbie Itno, who arrived to meet Chadian soldiers on the battlefield in the north of the country, was assassinated by rebels. Plumes of black smoke could be seen in some areas of Enjamena and tear gas shells could be heard throughout the day. Many roads have been blocked with barricades and burning tyres. At the same time, most of the shopkeepers present in the areas kept their shops closed due to the fear of loot.

The Prime Minister, Saleh Kebzabo, gave details of the death toll at a press conference. He also claimed that the security forces were working in self-defence. “What happened today is an armed popular uprising to seize power by force and those responsible for this violence will face justice,” said Kebzabo, president of the National Union for Democracy and Renewal (UNDR) party. At the same time, opposition parties put the death toll in the violence at around 50, although the figures have not been independently confirmed.

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