Between Germany and Chad began a diplomatic crisis. Berlin reproaches Déby for having prolonged the transition period. For its part, France remains strangely silent.
Last Friday, the Chadian government asked the German ambassador in N'Djamena, Jan Christian Gordon, to leave Chad. The diplomat was accused of a “discourteous attitude” and “non-respect of diplomatic practices”, according to the terms of the official government press release. In return, Germany asked the Chadian ambassador, Mariam Ali Moussa, to leave Berlin. Behind the well-considered words of N'Djamena, the diplomatic crisis would have been launched by a sentence of Jan Christian Gordon, who reproached Chad for prolonging its transition period too much.
It must be said that Mahamat Idriss Déby, the President of the Transition of the Republic of Chad, seemed so far to benefit from a certain leniency on the part of Western diplomats, where the European Union does not hesitate to put pressure on Mali or Burkina Faso so that they accelerate their transition process. The French president is also particularly silent on the subject., even if Paris, Berlin and The Hague expressed their “concern” after the delay taken by Déby.
Arrived at the head of Chad in April 2021, Mahamat Idriss Déby had promised to hand over power to civilians with the organization of "free and democratic elections". He had also said that he did not want to be a candidate for the presidency of the republic. But the transition is slipping: last October, when it was supposed to be the start of the acceleration of the process, the national dialogue was a fiasco, boycotted by a very large part of the opposition and civil society. Déby had extended the transition for two years, in an almost general indifference internationally. In the country, on the other hand, demonstrations had been organized.
But why is Paris, so quick to react to events in Mali, so conciliatory with N'Djamena? First of all, because after the departure of Barkhane from Mali, Chad imposed itself as a fallback solution. Moreover, since the beginning of counter-terrorism operations in the Sahel, it is Chadian fighters who have been on the front line and have paid a heavy price in human lives.
Still, Paris will not necessarily support Déby for long. For the NGO Urgences Panafricanistes, "what is happening now in Mali can happen in Chad, because the Chadians of yesterday are not the Chadians of today and we cannot make them sleep standing up so that's enough ". The NGO Survival denounces a French "hypocrisy". After the military crackdown on the protests, she wrote: “The hypocrisy of supporting a democratic pseudo-transition in the name of regional stability and the 'fight against terrorism' must end”.
If France continues to support the Chadian regime, Germany could be the spearhead of international protest. Because Berlin seems to support the ambassador who criticized the delay in the transition, where Paris remains behind.