African Union mission urges return to ‘constitutional order’ in Chad


An African Union mission recommended on Wednesday that Chad’s military share power with a civilian president, as one of three options towards restoring constitutional order following last month’s killing of president Idriss Deby.

A military council led by Deby’s son Mahamat Idriss Deby seized power in April after his father was killed while visiting troops opposing a rebel insurgency.

The African Union, which could suspend Chad over the military takeover, sent a fact-finding mission to develop strategies for a return to constitutional order and democratic governance.

In a report, the mission recommended the AU’s security council could support the military transition as it stands, while appointing a special envoy to ensure the military keep their promise to organise elections with 18 months.

Another option would be to support the current military-led transition, while pressuring the junta to share power equally with a civilian government due to the security threats Chad faces from rebels and jihadi insurgents.

A final option would be to pressure the military to hand over power to a civilian president alongside a military vice president, the report said.

It said a transitional charter drafted by the military was “wholly inadequate” and encouraged the drafting of a new, more inclusive national constitution, and a swift plan for fresh elections.

It also recommended that rebel forces be demobilized and invited to participate in dialogue on forming any new government.

The military council, which has promised to hold elections within 18 months, has rejected talks with the rebels.

Former colonial ruler France, which maintains a military presence in Chad, initially supported the council but has since called for a civilian-led unity government.

Opposition politicians and civil society have denounced the military takeover as a coup. Several protests have turned violent in recent weeks, with at least 6 people killed and scores more arrested in clashes with security forces.

Hundreds of protesters marched peacefully through N’Djamena on Wednesday carrying placards calling for calm during the transition process. Demonstrators were flanked by soldiers and police, who had authorized the event.