Chad: Does the peace agreement restore hope for Chadians?

Chad: Does the peace agreement restore hope for Chadians?

After the fall of the Habre regime at the end of the 1990s, the nation’s vital workforce expressed its desire to unite all Chadians around a framework in order to redraw a future Chad.

That is why, in 1993, a sovereign national conference was organised in which all perspectives were represented. At the end of this political assembly, a new constitution was drafted. At the time, all major figures of Chadian politics who had been in exile were present and actively participated in the meetings.

During the reign of the late President Idriss Deby Itno, who was killed in April 2021 during a rebel attack orchestrated by The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), opponents of the regime requested a similar assembly. But instead of a dialogue, forums were organised in 2018 and 2020. However, both meetings were boycotted by the opposition, which did not participate.

The disappearance of Idriss Deby brings the question of dialogue back to the table.

In order to ensure this dialogue is inclusive, an imperative has emerged: the issue of political-military participation. The framework for the Doha talks was born from this goal.

For Chadians, the Doha talks are vital for the success of an “inclusive national dialogue.”

Initiated on March 13, an agreement was signed on Monday, August 8, between politico-military representatives and the transitional government in the presence of the head of state, Army General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, president of the Transitional Military Council.

Of the 52 represented parties, which were divided into three groups — the Rome group, the Doha group and the Qatar group) — 43 signed the so-called “peace agreement.” The 19 groups that abstained didn’t feel that real conditions for dialogue had been met. They sought a firm pledge from the president of the Transitional Military Council committing to hand power over to civilians at the end of the transition — in other words, a commitment that he would not run in the next presidential election.

Discordant voices are making themselves heard to vocalise the fact that this important issue should be reserved for the hearings, because it is everyone's business.

Mahamat Deby Itno was warmly welcomed with pomp and circumstance upon his return from Doha, because for most, the signing of this agreement is a big step forward for Chad — pending the inclusion and participation of other groups that are not signatories to the agreement.