Chadian Junta Declines Negotiation With FACT Rebels

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The new Chadian military junta in N’Djamena said it will not negotiate with the rebels of the Front pour le Changement et la Concorde au Tchad (FACT) who have called for negotiations with the new leaders, following the death of Idriss Derby.

General Azem Bermendao Agouna, spokesperson of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), described the rebels as ‘outlaws.’

“We are faced with a situation which puts Chad in danger, this is not the moment for mediation or negotiations with outlaws,” Agouna said in a televised declaration in N’Djamena, Chad’s capital on Sunday, April 25.

The FACT rebels have expressed their desire for a ceasefire and the opening of negotiations with the military junta led by General Mahamat Idriss Deby, the son of the late president.

“FACT is ready to observe a ceasefire in order to arrive at a political accord which respects the independence and sovereignty of Chad and which does not caution a coup d’etat,” Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol, the spokesperson of FACT, had declared.

But Agouna in his reaction to the call for negotiation with the rebels, said, “Chad calls for the cooperation and the solidarity of Niger with a view to facilitating the capture and putting at the disposal of the judiciary, these war criminals.”

This is coming just a week after the death of former Chadian president, who was reported to have been mortally wounded Saturday, April 17, while taking part in clashes between the FACT rebels and the Chadian national army in Kanem situated north of the country.

The late president who died Sunday, April 18, led Chad for 31 years and was buried Friday, April 23, after an official funeral ceremony attended by several heads of state including the French leader, Emmanuel Macron.

“France will never let anybody, not today, nor tomorrow, challenge the stability and integrity of Chad,” the French President said during the funeral.

Political analysts are of the opinion that this strong declaration by the French President is what forced the FACT rebels to opt for peace.

“The call for negotiations by the FACT rebels and the rejection of the olive branch by the N’Djamena junta are all couched on the French president’s declaration of strong support for the new regime in Chad,”  Jeremy Oudaga, a political scientist opines.

“The rebels see in the French support of Chad a big affront to their success in toppling the N’Djamena regime while the new junta feels that with French support they would crush the rebels and win the final victory.”

“So in actual fact, French are the ones calling the shots and a determinant factor in what becomes of Chad in the days ahead.”

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