A violent crackdown on anti-government protests in Chad killed at least three people on Thursday, prompting a denunciation of the “repression of demonstrations” by the Africa Union (AU).
“I firmly condemn the repression of demonstrations that led to deaths in Chad,’’ African Union Commission Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat, who is a former prime minister of Chad, tweeted, calling for a peaceful solution to the crisis.
Demonstrators demanding a quicker transition to democratic rule barricaded roads and torched the party headquarters of the new prime minister, as hundreds took to the streets.
The vast, military-run Central African nation has been in crisis since the April 2021 death of President Idriss Deby, who ruled with an iron fist for three decades.
Deby was killed while visiting troops fighting rebels.
There has been resistance to a transitional military council headed by Deby’s son, who took power after the president’s death and pushed back elections to October 2024.
Opposition and civil society groups called the protests on Thursday, which would have marked the end of an initially agreed 18-month transition period.
The government banned them, citing security reasons, but demonstrators showed up early in the morning, using burning tyres and debris to block roads in the capital.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up gatherings throughout the city, killing at least three people and wounding several.
Chadian journalist Oredje Narcisse, who had worked with Reuters in the past, was among the dead, his brother said.
He was not on assignment for the news agency when he was shot.
The other confirmed victims were 28-year-old protester Motcho Koumande, shot in the neck, and Chadian musician Ray’s Kim, who died in hospital. (Reuters/NAN)