Security Forces Open Fire on Protesters in Chad, Killing at Least 50


To the west, Mali has experienced two coups, in 2020 and 2021, and since then, its military rulers have extended their time in power. After promising to hold elections last February, their date was moved to 2026 and then shifted back to 2024 after the regional bloc known as the Economic Community of West African States imposed sanctions.

Further south, in Guinea, when Col. Mamady Doumbouya, the coup plotter-turned-military leader, announced a transition period earlier this year of over three years, opposition leaders condemned the move as “a threat to peace.”

Burkina Faso has experienced two coups in an eight-month period this year, and though its new ruler, Ibrahim Traoré, agreed to his predecessor’s condition that he stick to the agreed timetable for a transition to democracy, but analysts said there are no guarantees that promise will be kept.

The Ndjamena protests and killings came on the two-year anniversary of a massacre of young protesters in Chad’s southwestern neighbor, Nigeria. There, security forces opened fire on demonstrators opposed to police brutality. Today, their families are still awaiting justice, while dozens of protesters still languish in jail.

Chad, a country twice the size of France but with only a small fraction of its population, nearly 18 million people, is linguistically and ethnically diverse, with around 120 indigenous languages as well as its two official ones, Arabic and French.

In the 1980s, it was ruled by Hissène Habré, a coup leader-turned-president who was later found guilty of crimes against humanity, torture and sex crimes in a landmark case in Senegal. He too was overthrown, in 1990 — by Idriss Déby, who ruled until his death 18 months ago.

Source : Nytimes