Mahamat Idriss Déby invested president, like his father before him

Mahamat Idriss Déby invested president, like his father before him
Mahamat Idriss Déby invested president, like his father before him

With his hand raised, his expression solemn and dressed all in white, Mahmat Idriss Déby swore, Thursday, May 23, to “respect the Constitution” from Chad. “The contract of trust that has been sealed will never be betrayed”, declared the 40-year-old general, elected at the beginning of May, after a vote whose result was contested by the opposition. This oath, taken in front of seven African heads of state and around twenty government delegations, marks the completion of the Chadian transition and the retention in power for the next five years of the son of Idriss Déby Itno, in power for thirty years, from 1990 until his death in April 2021.

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This legitimacy of the ballot box, the one who took the head of the country outside any constitutional framework has long sought it. Even if it means returning, after holding an inclusive dialogue with opposition parties and civil society, to the promise of returning power to civilians, in violation of the principles laid down by the charter of the African Union (AU) . Since then, relations have continued to deteriorate between N’Djamena and the continental organization, in particular with the president of the Peace and Security Commission, the Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat whom the N’Djamena authorities suspect of having presidential ambitions.

The latter did not attend the swearing-in of the new head of state on Thursday. Instead, the African Union Commission remained firm in its position and deplored N’Djamena’s refusal to host its election observers in a statement published on Tuesday.

A strategic partner for France

During the past three years, the transition has nevertheless benefited from great leniency on the part of the rest of the international community, and first and foremost from France. At the funeral of Marshal Idriss Deby, the presence of Emmanuel Macron, the only Western head of state to have made the trip, was interpreted as the dubbing of a dynastic succession.

This Thursday, for the son’s inauguration, Paris was represented more discreetly by Franck Riester, Minister Delegate in charge of foreign trade, attractiveness, the Francophonie and French people abroad.

France maintains a thousand soldiers stationed in Chad and remains a strategic partner of the country, in a region swept by a wind of neo-sovereignty and rejection of French policy which successively pushed Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to request the withdrawal of tricolor troops from the Sahel, quickly replaced by Russian paramilitaries.

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