Wednesday 18 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/29/18)
The armed forces of Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar said on Thursday that their warplanes had attacked Chadian rebels in the country's southern desert last weekend. Air raids targeted a rebel-held roadblock 400 kilometres (250 miles) southeast of Sebha, as well as other positions in an oasis in the Terbu region 400 kms farther south, an official with Haftar's so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) told AFP. "The strikes aim at restoring security and applying law in the south," the official said, without giving details about the identity of the targets. An armed Chadian group, the Military Command Council for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR), said it had been attacked by Haftar's planes. CCMSR's spokesman in...
(AFP (eng) 03/28/18)
The central African state of Chad is on course for reforms to the presidency after a forum on constitutional change that was boycotted by the opposition. The meeting, which ended late Tuesday, increases the presidential tenure from five to six years, with a maximum of two terms. The current mandate is five years with no limits on re-election. The forum was attended by more than 700 pro-government figures in political parties and religious and social groups. It was launched on March 19 by Chadian President Idriss Deby -- currently serving his fifth term -- who declared that it would "lead to the birth of the Fourth Republic." The opposition refused to take part, describing the proposed changes as a ploy...
(AFP (eng) 03/26/18)
A Chadian soldier and 20 Boko Haram members were killed in a clash in the restive Lake Chad region near Nigeria, a Chadian military officer told AFP Saturday. The incident occurred on Friday on an islet named Tchoukou Hadje, the officer said, adding that five soldiers were wounded. "Twenty Boko Haram members were killed and a large amount of weapons was recovered," he said. "The Chadian army lost one member." Two Chadian soldiers including a captain were killed in an...
(AFP (eng) 03/20/18)
Civil servants in Chad returned to work on Tuesday after a strike over austerity measures paralysed the impoverished country's public sector for seven weeks. Trade unions had called the strike in late January after the government slashed civil servants' pay, and the whole public sector ground to a halt. But a deal was struck last week between the government and unions, after two weeks of negotiations. Work resumed on Tuesday at government ministries and healthcare facilities in the capital N'Djamena,...
(AFP (eng) 03/19/18)
Chad on Monday was due to start discussing sweeping constitutional reforms including presidential term limits in a country ruled with an iron fist by Idriss Deby since a 1996 coup. A so-called "national forum" comprising some 700 participants, including ruling party figures, members of civil society close to the government and representatives of the Chadian diaspora was due to kick off in the capital N'Djamena. It is being boycotted by the opposition. The Fonac, or the New Opposition Front for...
(AFP (eng) 03/15/18)
Chad's government and unions have signed a deal to end a strike over austerity measures that has paralysed the public sector for more than six weeks. The impoverished country, badly hit by a fall in the price of oil exports since 2015, introduced the austerity measures this year to meet the requirements of international donors. But the public spending cuts have increased social tension and anger towards President Idriss Deby, in power since 1990. Trade unions called an indefinite general strike in the state sector on January 29 after the government slashed civil servants' pay, and since then the whole public sector has stopped work, paralysing key sectors.
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday praised Chad as an "important partner" in fighting terror, and hoped that a travel ban placed on the central African state by the Trump administration will soon be eased. In a brief trip in the capital N'Djamena on a truncated maiden trip of Africa, Tillerson said the United States supported the fight by the so-called G5 Sahel countries against jihadists in the volatile Saharan region. Chad is an "important partner" in fighting...
(AFP (eng) 03/13/18)
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson brought his truncated maiden Africa trip to a close on Monday, promising the full backing of the United States to two countries on the frontline of the war on terror. Washington's top diplomat has been on a five-country tour of east and west Africa but was forced to cut short his visit "due to demands in (his) schedule", the State Department said. After stops in Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya, which were overshadowed by US President...
(AFP (eng) 03/12/18)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday was to shorten his maiden tour of Africa because of work, aides said. "Due to demands in the secretary's schedule he is returning to the US one day early, after concluding official meetings in Chad and Nigeria," Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein told the press. Tillerson, making his first trip to Africa as the senior-most US diplomat, has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya since last Wednesday. He is due to fly from...
(AFP (eng) 03/01/18)
Turkey will donate $5 million (4.1 million euros) to a fledgling force of five nations battling terrorism and trafficking in the Sahel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced during a visit to Mauritania. The G5 force, gathering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, aims to train and equip 5,000 troops to restore authority in lawless areas where jihadists have gained a foothold. "Turkey is one of the countries which best understands the dangers with which you are confronted in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/23/18)
European leaders on Friday doubled their funding for a joint African force tackling jihadists in the Sahel at an international conference in Brussels, as fresh violence highlights the region's fraught security situation. The European Union announced an extra 50 million euros ($61 million) for the G5 Sahel force at talks with heads of state from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, adding to around 280 million euros already pledged by international donors. The high-level meeting attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor...
(AFP (eng) 02/21/18)
Qatar and Chad are to restore diplomatic relations, severed in August soon after the start of a Saudi-led boycott of the emirate, Doha's foreign ministry said Tuesday, Lolwah Al-Khater, Qatar's foreign ministry spokeswoman, said on social media that both countries would return their ambassadors with immediate effect. "Moments ago MOU (memorandum of understanding) was signed between Qatar and Chad; Diplomatic relations to be resumed with immediate exchange of ambassadors," she tweeted. Al-Khater added that the agreement was "a victory for both countries". Chad closed Qatar's embassy in N'Djamena in late August, accusing Doha of seeking to destabilise the landlocked African semi-desert country.
(AFP (eng) 02/20/18)
Efforts to build a five-nation force to roll back jihadism in the Sahel face a funding hurdle this week, with a surge in rebel attacks providing an urgent reminder of the task in hand. So far more than $350 million has already been pledged for the G5 Sahel force, gathering Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- countries in the frontline of a war against Islamist militants yet which rank among the poorest in the world. The money has...
(AFP (eng) 02/15/18)
"Fear rules over the city," said Mahamat, a resident of the Chadian capital N'Djamena for more than 40 years who did not dare to reveal his real name. "Although people are frustrated, they don't want to be arrested, kidnapped or tortured." In Chad, a large partly-desert nation straddling north and central Africa, taking discontent to the streets is a dangerous game under the stern rule of President Idriss Deby, in power for 27 years. Early in January, a public sector...
(AFP (eng) 02/09/18)
The Chadian government on Thursday announced the sacking of culture and tourism minister Mahamat Saleh Haroun, an award-winning filmmaker, but offered no explanation. The minister, who joined the government a year ago, had been "called to other functions", according to a decree read out on national radio. Saleh Haroun won the Prix du Jury at France's Cannes Film Festival in 2010 for "L'Homme qui crie" (The man who shouts) and continued to direct movies as a minister. Former culture minister Djibert Younous was re-appointed to the post and would also hold the youth, sports and tourist development portfolios, the decree said.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
Plans for a "day of anger" in the Chadian capital failed to materialise Thursday, with just a few dozen protesters marching against austerity amid a large police presence, a day after the government suspended 10 opposition parties. Police said twelve protesters were arrested in N'Djamena during small marches against President Idriss Deby, who has ruled Chad for 27 years. The rallies, which were planned by civil society groups, trade unions and opposition politicians, were banned by the authorities in advance,...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The government of Chad on Wednesday suspended 10 opposition parties for "disturbing public order" and "inciting violence" after they backed trade union calls for a mass protest over austerity measures. The parties' activities "have been suspended for a duration of two months," Security Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said in a statement. Citing security reasons, the authorities also announced on the radio that a march scheduled for Thursday by civil groups, trade unions and opposition politicians had been banned. The impoverished...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/07/18)
Five countries in the Sahel have made a pitch for further funds for a joint force to fight jihadism in their fragile region. The presidents of Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger made the appeal after a summit Tuesday in the Niger capital of Niamey, ahead of a fund-raising meeting in Europe later this month. "Given the pressure that the current security situation is placing on the public finances of member states, the heads of state invite the international...
(AFP (eng) 02/06/18)
Leaders of five Sahel countries met with France's defence minister on Tuesday to discuss funding for an unprecedented joint force to combat jihadism in their vulnerable region. The presidents of the so-called G5 Sahel nations -- Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger -- met with French Defence Minister Florence Parly, whose country is the initiative's major backer. On Sunday, Malian Defence Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly said the G5 force "will be operational by the end of March." The five...

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