Wakit Tama Protest in N’Djamena – Live updates!
Recap: Today’s Wakit Tama march proved that the opposition in general and Wakit Tama in particular is not dead. With a significant turnout, the marchers sent a clear message to France and the CMT, as well as the rest of the world in general. The march lasted over four hours with several thousand participants by our estimates. Despite the large crowds, no major problems were reported, and significantly, no tear gas was used.
11:55 AM – The speeches seem to be winding down and the protesters are likely to leave soon.
11:10 AM – Succès Masra is speaking about the rampant insecurity in the country. “Are some Chadian’s lives more important than others?”
10:55 AM – “Do you want your children to see the French forces here? It’s time for the French military to leave!”
10:45 AM – “The transition will be renewed multiple times if we don’t act to stop it.”
10:25 AM – Most of the protesters are inside the stadium and the organizers of the event are giving speeches. Right now Yacine Abdraman Sakine, the president of the Reformist Party is calling for unity to defeat those who have ruled for years with a “divide and conquer” strategy.
10:00 AM – The march has arrived at the stadium and it looks like they have been allowed to enter. It wasn’t clear if this was going to be allowed, but at this point there are so many protesters that it could be hard to stop them.
9:55 AM – The march has stopped yet again for the national anthem within sight of the stadium, the destination for today’s march.
9:45 AM – The police are nowhere to be seen as the march approaches the Idriss Mahamat Ouya Stadium. To keep things under control, Wakit Tama has organized “citizen generals” to keep things under control. So far, their strategy seems to be working fairly well.
9:30 AM – Commenters on Facebook are asking why the march couldn’t continue straight to the Presidential Palace only a few kilometers away from the stadium, which is the planned destination. Undoubtedly the police are prepared to stop them in the unlikely event that they decide to continue. The march has stopped again for the national anthem, this time with the protesters kneeling with their hands on their heads.
9:20 AM – As the march approaches the stadium, the number of protesters seems to have multiplied. The Reformist Party is present as well, calling for justice for their president, Yacine Abdraman Sakine, who was allegedly beaten after being arrested at a previous protest.
9:10 AM – The march continues, as protesters carry signs and banners up Avenue Mobutu, shouting anti-French and anti-CMT slogans. Many of the signs are denouncing French interference in Africa and equating the CMT/CNT (Transitional Government) with the French. There’s a clear rejection of the transition as they claim that it was simply a coup d’etat.
9:05 AM – The column has reached the area where the drainage canal passes underneath the road, near the UNCHR building. The number of protesters is unknown but seems to have increased since the beginning of the march. Noticeably, the shops along the street are mostly closed this morning, likely because of the possibility of issues.
9:00 AM – The protest continues. It seems like the march is going fairly well despite the absence of a strong police force. Although the atmosphere is charged, there has not been any reports of tear gas or damages so far.
8:55 AM – The march has reached the circle “100 years”, and the march has stopped there to sing the national anthem.
8:50 AM – The marchers are blocking both sides of Avenue Mubutu as they march towards the stadium, singing “they said that Deby died at the front, but in reality it was a coup d’etat”.
8:30 AM – The crowd is starting to form ranks and move towards the street. It looks like there are 500-1000 people in attendance.
8:00 AM – Wakit Tama Media invites anyone who isn’t in agreement with them to come and shoot the first tear gas canister. Protesters have not yet departed from the field. Besides the political agenda, the march is also against Airtel and Moov Africa (Tigo) because of the high price of data and telephone services.
7:30 AM – Protesters begin to assemble at the open field called Fest Africa, near Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur schools. The field is normally used for driving school, but today it’s filled with protesters.