Senator Menendez Introduces Resolution Calling Chadian Transition “coup d’etat”
WASHINGTON–On July 11th, 2021, United States Senator Robert Menendez (President of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs), introduced a resolution condemning the “coup d’etat” in Chad and threatening to remove bilateral funding if the TMC failed to meet requirements set forth by the African Union.
Senator Menendez’s critical resolution on Chad is not the first of his efforts to change United States policy on the country. In March of this year, Senator Menendez wrote a letter to Assistant Secretary of State, Molly Phee, in which he encourages her to create a “holistic policy approach” on Chad, and underlines the problems an “unconstitutional” transition could bring.
Menendez’s most recent resolution goes beyond calling Chad’s recent government change a “coup d’etat”, a contested term in itself, including recommending sanctions on “coup leaders”.
Senator Menendez made this comment about his proposed resolution:
“I am proud to introduce this critical resolution affirming U.S. support for a credible and inclusive national dialogue focused on restoring constitutional, civilian leadership and urging accountability for General Mahamat Deby and other members of the Chadian military, who must return to their barracks.”Senator Robert Menendez
In the proposed resolution, Menendez calls on “General Mahamat Deby and leaders of the TMC” to —
- “immediately release all of those arbitrarily arrested during the April-May 2021 protests”
- “ensure that security forces respect rights related to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression and hold accountable security force members responsible for excessive use of force or other human right abuses”
- “publicly commit not to run in elections”
- “abide by the 18-month transitional timeline for restoring civilian rule via free, fair, and peaceful democratic elections and return to their barracks”
- “support an inclusive national civilian dialogue by ensuring all parties may participate freely and openly”
- “commit to respecting freedom of expression, opinion, the press, and access to information to include unimpeded internet access to the people of Chad”
The proposed resolution also encourages the United States Secretary of State to “suspend non-humanitarian bilateral assistance to the Government of Chad, including security assistance, until civilian rule is restored via free, fair, and peaceful democratic elections”.
This resolution comes on the heels of the Patriotic Salvation Movement’s accusations of American “interference” of Chad’s transition. These accusations were made regarding Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Chad, Ellen Thorburn’s recent July 4th remarks.