Chad declares state of emergency amid inter-communal conflict

Chad declares state of emergency amid inter-communal conflict

Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno on Sunday declared a three-month state of emergency in the eastern provinces of Sila and Ouaddai, following escalation of inter-communal conflict.

 

To end the “disastrous situation,” the president ordered the deployment of military reinforcements and the disarmament of all civilians in the area.

“The main cause of this whole problem is the entry of illegal firearms into this part of the country,” Deby said during a field visit.

According to the presidential order, security forces are now allowed to intervene more actively in coping with the situation.

 

“Inter-community conflicts must not last, and I will personally take care of this issue,” the head of state told the press.

 

Eastern Chad is in the grip of a cycle of violence between nomadic camel herders – many from the Zaghawa ethnic group from which Deby hails – and sedentary farmers from the Ouaddian community.

 

At least 109 people have been killed in recent weeks in clashes between communities in eastern Chad, according to local news website Alwihdainfo.

 

Deby blamed the situation on the unrest in Sudan, describing it as the “principal cause” of the ethnic violence in Chad.

 

Legislative elections in Chad are scheduled to take place by the end of the year. They have been postponed several times since 2015 as Deby, who grabbed power in 1990, looks to maintain his hold on the country.

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