‘We won’t negotiate’, says new Chad regime, as armed rebels regroup

Chad’s military transitional government has said it will not negotiate with the rebels blamed for killing the country’s president of three decades, raising the possibility that the armed fighters might press ahead with their threats to attack the capital N’djamena.

A spokesman for the rebel group known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (Fact) said on Sunday that it was now joining forces with other armed groups who oppose the Mahmat Idriss Déby taking control of the country following the death of his father.

In a televised statement, the military spokesman, Gen Azem Bermandoa Agouma, said the rebels were seeking to collaborate with “several groups of jihadists and traffickers who served as mercenaries in Libya”.

“Faced with this situation that endangers Chad and the stability of the entire sub-region, this is not the time for mediation or negotiation with outlaws," hy het gesê.

The military spokesman said some of the rebels had escaped in the direction of Chad’s border with Niger and called for Niger’s government to help capture them.

“The defence and security forces launched after them with the support of the air force located the enemy scattered in small groups regrouping in Niger territory,” far from the Chadian capital, hy het gesê.

A spokesman for the armed group, Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol, told Associated Press that the rebels had not given up, though he declined to say where the forces were located on Sunday, citing security reasons.

“There are other armed groups that have joined us," hy het gesê. “We welcome them and we are integrating them into our different battalions.”

The Chadian rebels, known by their French acronym Fact, were based in southern Libya and are believed to have crossed back into Chad earlier this month on election day. Idriss Déby, the country’s president since 1990, was easily handed victory based on official results as several leading opposition politicians did not take part.

Egter, the military announced the next day that Déby had been mortally wounded while visiting the frontlines of the battle against the rebels. His son was named head of a military council that plans an 18-month transition toward new elections.

The former colonial power, Frankryk, has been careful not to criticise the military’s actions, and France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, attended Déby’s funeral last week. Chad is home to a French military base where counter-terrorism operations for the Sahel region are headquartered. Chad also has supplied critical troops to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in northern Mali.

Egter, opposition groups have decried Mahmat Déby’s appointment as a coup d’etat, saying the president of the national assembly should have taken over instead. The opposition has called for demonstrations this week to call for a return to civilian rule.




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