Foreign News

Chad Protest Clashes Leave ‘About 30’ Dead, Including Security Forces

By The Evangelist
October 21, 2022

Deadly clashes between police and demonstrators protesting at the military’s grip on power erupted in Chad on Thursday, claiming “about 30” lives, including around 10 members of the security forces, according to an official toll.

Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in the capital N’Djamena to mark the date when the military had initially promised to hand over power — a spell that has been extended for another two years.

“There were about 30 deaths, including about 10 among the security forces, and several injured,” government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh told AFP.

“A banned demonstration became an insurrection,” he said.

He accused demonstrators of attacking “public buildings”, including the offices of the governor, the headquarters of the prime minister’s party and that of the speaker of parliament.

An AFP reporter saw five bodies on the floor of the city’s Union Chagoua Hospital, two of which were covered with the Chadian national flag and three with bloodied white sheets.

The head doctor, Joseph Ampil, later confirmed to AFP that five individuals had “died from gunshots”.

Palls of black smoke could be seen in some parts of the city and the crack of teargas grenades could be heard.

Barricades were set up in several districts and tyres were set alight in the main avenues to block traffic.

In an opposition stronghold, streets were deserted and littered with tree branches and piles of bricks. Schools and university establishments were closed, and many traders in the city centre lowered their shutters.

The headquarters of Prime Minister Saleh Kebzabo’s UNDR party was also attacked by demonstrators “and partially burned down”, UNDR Vice President Celestin Topona told AFP.

France, Chad’s former colonial power, condemned the violence, noting it featured “the use of lethal weapons against demonstrators”.

“France is not playing any part in these events, which lie strictly in Chad’s domestic political domain,” the foreign ministry said.

“False information about France’s purported involvement is baseless.”

Moussa Faki Mahamat, head of the African Union Commission, posted a tweet to “firmly condemn the repression” of the protests and call for peaceful ways to overcome the country’s “crisis”.

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