Chad’s Rebel Groups Ready To Resume Peace-Building Talks With Interim Authorities

Chad’s rebel groups on Friday said they are ready to resume peace-building talks with the interim authorities, after breaking off negotiations last week, reported The Reuters.

The decision will ensure their participation in August’s national dialogue that is meant at paving way to long-awaited elections after interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby seized power following his father’s death last year.

In a statement, the rebel groups said they would resume talks, without giving further details. Last week, the rebel groups had walked out of peace negotiations with Chad’s government in Doha, arguing that Chadian leader Deby’s actions had endangered the country’s efforts toward peace and made their participation in the talks untenable.

In April last year, Deby declared himself head of a Transitional Military Council after his father, Chad’s longtime ruler Idriss Deby, was killed while visiting troops fighting the rebel insurgency in the north.

Initially the military vowed to return power to a civilian government within eighteen months, but it has shown little sign of organising elections as that deadline nears.

The Chadian authorities have scheduled the national dialogue on August 20. Deby has presented this as the first step towards planning a vote. The national dialogue plans to include the armed groups, but the conditions for their participation have not yet been agreed on.

Pressure has started to grow from opposition groups within Chad and bilateral partners to proceed with a settlement with the rebels.

Chad is an ally of France and other Western countries in the fight against Islamist militants in Africa’s Sahel region.

In related news, last month, Chad’s government declared a food emergency in the country and called for immediate help from the international community.

According to the United Nations (UN), over 5.5 million people in Chad – more than a third of the population – would need humanitarian assistance this year.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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