Chad – Civil Society Leaves Dialogue as Protestant Leaders Discuss Possible Return
Three Protestant leaders were recently received by the President of the Transitional Military Council of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno. The meeting was arranged to discuss the church leader’s participation in the National Inclusive Dialogue, which the church leaders left because of “injustice and inequality”. In a recent radio interview, Mahamat had warned the church leaders that what they were doing was “very dangerous” and called on them to “preach peace and unity” after both the Catholic and Protestant leaders left the talks.
Three days after they had suspended their participation, the church leaders spent two hours explaining their reasons for departure with the President of the Transition. They also discussed a possible return to the Dialogue which the leaders seemed willing to accept, but noted that the decision would be subject to the approval of the church. The President “urged the men of God to reconsider their decision [to leave the dialogue] to guide the faithful on the right path”.
Despite the efforts to regain credibility for the Dialogue, several civil society and human rights organizations have just announced their departure as well. Six organizations (LTDH, OTAC, TNV, ACAT-Tchad, and MCPL) announced that they were suspending their participation in the Dialogue for some of the same reasons given by the church leaders. Specifically, the organizations denounced a failure to reorganize the Presidium and change the internal rules of the Dialogue, as well as the recent repression of political activists.
“The conditions in which the national dialogue is currently taking place do not guarantee frank and sincere debates”ADH