Chad: At Least 2 Killed During Protests

Protests in N’Djamena on April 27 2021.

At least two people were killed Tuesday in the central African country of Chad during protests demanding the country's transitional military government transfer power to civilians.

The country's military council was led by President Idriss Deby Itno, who was killed on April 19 while visiting troops fighting rebels north of the capital, N'Djamena.

Local media reported a man was fatally shot in the southern city of Moundou and another was killed in N'Djamena.

Tensions escalated in the impoverished desert country after the sudden death of Deby, who ruled the country for three decades. A coalition opposed to the military government called for protests, despite a government ban on them.

Authorities arrested several protesters and journalists, as protesters vandalized a gas station and burned tires throughout N'Djamena. Police fired tear gas on protesters in the capital, while other demonstrations were underway in other parts of the country.

After meeting in Paris Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron and Democratic Republic of the Congo President Felix Tshisekedi condemned "the crackdown on protests" in a joint statement that also called for an end to the violence.

The two leaders voiced support for a transition process that is "open to all Chadian political forces, led by a civilian government," with the intent to organize elections within 18 months.

The military announced Deby's death on April 20, just hours after he was confirmed the winner of the presidential election held earlier in the month.

After Deby's death, the military created a council to organize elections within 18 months. The military appointed Deby's 37-year-old son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, as head of the council, drawing immediate criticism from political opponents and rebel forces accused of assassinating his father.

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