American Embassy in N’Djamena Closed On The 20th, Anticipates Clashes
The American Embassy in N’Djamena has announced it will have”reduced staffing and/or limited operations” in a demonstration alert to US citizens.
The embassy advises citizens to keep a low profile while faced with potentially violent protests slated to take place on Thursday. The protests have been planned by numerous opposition groups to protest the extension of the current “transitional” government which has been ruling the nation since April of 2021, when Mahamat Idriss Deby–son of late Idriss Deby Itno–took over the country following his father’s death at the battlefield. October 20th is a significant day because it marks 18 months since Mahamat Idriss Deby took over, and would have been the end of his rule had the original 18 month promise remained intact.
The Chadian Minister of Public Security has banned all protests scheduled for the day, claiming that they did not respect the 5 day buffer necessary when submitting protest applications. He also warned that in the event of non-compliance, protest organizers will be held responsible “before the courts of the Republic” for any damage or other offenses.
Groups involved in the planned protests include, Les Transformateurs, Wakit Tama, Al Takhadoum and various other civil society organizations and political parties. Protest organizers have announced that demonstrations will begin at 6:30 am at the “Place of the Nation” in downtown N’Djamena, despite the ban.
The UN warns against “excessive use of force”
The United Nations “Special Rapporteur Freedom of Association,” Clément Voule released a tweet on October 19th asking the Chadian authorities to “guarantee and protect” the demonstrations, and to avoid “excessive use of force” in accordance with international obligations.
Wakit Tama spokesperson Dr Sitack Yombatnan Bénie, says “There is no reason that a person can stay to continue to manage. Power must return to the people to be managed by civilians.”