On Friday, September 9, the police fired tear gas canisters to disperse hundreds of demonstrators accompanying the main leader of the opposition to the military junta in Chad who was going to a summons from the N’Djamena prosecutor.
Success Masra, 39, president of the Les Transformateurs party, was quickly surrounded by his young supporters and pushed into a car before the motorcade, which was heading towards the capital’s courthouse, turned around in a atmosphere saturated with tear gas.
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These new clashes come a few days after unauthorized and violently repressed demonstrations by the Transformers party, the most virulent movement of a coalition of political opposition and civil society which is boycotting the national reconciliation dialogue launched 20 days by the president of the transition, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.
“Respect the order and do not touch anything”
Upon his accession to the head of state, the head of the junta had promised to return power to civilians within eighteen months through “free and democratic” elections, following a national dialogue ” inclusive”, but this forum, postponed on numerous occasions, has just begun its work on the merits after new defections from civil society organizations.
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He was already boycotted by the majority of the political opposition and by at least two of the most powerful armed rebel groups, who denounce a “monologue” of the junta and accuse Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno and the soldiers of wanting to stay in power.
Success Masra claimed to have received a summons from the public prosecutor on Thursday, September 8, but the reason for which was not communicated to him.
The world is taken to witness. They want to stop the dialogue of the people with violence
On Friday morning, he left his home, attended two prayers – Muslim and Christian – in the midst of several hundred of his supporters. He urged them to “walk with dignity, to respect order and not to touch anything”, before taking, in the rain, the direction of the court at the head of a long procession of sympathizers.
The police quickly fired numerous tear gas canisters, and Success Masra and his supporters turned back to return to his home and party headquarters.
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“The people came out to accompany us to the courthouse, they attacked us and shot us with live ammunition,” tweeted the president of the Transformers, adding: “the world is taken to witness. They want to stop the dialogue of the people with violence”. It was not possible to verify, from independent sources, the accusation of live ammunition.
Calm had returned in the afternoon around the headquarters of the Transformers, but the police force maintained. The prosecutor of N’Djamena, Moussa Wade Djibrine, assured to have accepted the proposal of the lawyers of Succès Masra to come on Monday September 12 with their client to honor his summons.
Chad: arrest of dozens of opponents of the Success Masra party
This summons comes six days after demonstrations repressed by the police and the army, and the siege by the forces of order of the Transformers party for four days. About 200 supporters of Succès Masra were arrested during these four days of demonstrations, which were systematically dispersed with tear gas canisters, then released on September 4.
Twenty days after its launch by Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the work of the Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue (DNIS) on the merits has barely begun and its closure had to be postponed for ten days, to September 30.
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At this stage, the elections promised after an eighteen-month transition – in October 2022 at the latest, therefore – have very little chance of being held within this period. The head of the junta had however announced that it could be postponed for another eighteen months “if the Chadians do not manage at I’ll understand».