The NGO Human Right Watch (HRW) has denounced that Chadian security forces have used excessive force against members of the opposition and their supporters in protests against the “national dialogue” initiated by the government to hold national elections.
“The authorities must immediately stop the onslaught against the opposition, rein in the security forces and ensure that those involved in rights violations are held accountable,” demanded HRW’s Central Africa director Lewis Mudge.
Mudge denounced that the transitional government led by Mahamat Idriss Déby does not assume “any responsibility” for the “abusive actions” of the armed forces against “peaceful demonstrators and political opponents”, which is a “total disregard” for fundamental rights and freedoms.”
The national dialogue that began in N’Djamena, the capital, a month ago sought to determine a timetable and a set of rules to carry out the electoral convocation promised for October by Déby, who assumed power in April 2021 after the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno.
However, the main opposition party, Les Transformateurs (The Transformers), has opposed the dialogue launched in August as “not inclusive” and has called on its supporters to mobilize in the streets.
HRW notes that during the first 10 days of September, dozens of demonstrators were injured after security forces used tear gas. In addition, another 220 people were reportedly detained in “inhuman conditions”, according to what members of the opposition political party told the NGO.
“At a time when the country is trying to heal its wounds, the abuse of the security forces will only set back Chadian reconciliation” said the HRW representative, who also urged an “urgent” investigation into these attacks to ensure full participation in political life in the country.