Fresh protests rocked Chad's capital N'Djamena on Saturday. Contrary to expectations, the mobilization was massive. The media evoke an "anti-French sentiment", but isn't the reason for this movement deeper?
When the Wakit Tama movement called for new protests in Chad last weekend, few observers expected such a massive presence. Thousands of Chadians demonstrated Saturday, May 14, in parts of the capital N'Djamena, the demonstrations turned into a confrontation with the police.
The protesters also attacked seven service stations of the French major Total. The images also show French flags being burned, banners with anti-French slogans, and even Russian and Chinese flags being hoisted.
Naturally, the press hailed or condemned an "anti-French sentiment" among Chadian demonstrators. What dilute the message of civil society and a large part of the political class, as well as the demonstrators themselves, for these demonstrations.
Suspicions of corruption around the national dialogue in Chad
Indeed, if the organizers of the demonstrations assume their opposition to French influence in Chad, their exit today looks much more like a fed up with the Déby regime. But also to dismay at the repetitive delays of the inclusive national dialogue.
Master Max Loalngar, spokesperson for the Wakit Tama movement, declared: “It is clear that the Transitional Council has a hidden agenda”. Loalngar speaks of parallel negotiations dealing with "the buying of consciences" and "corruption".
Government spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah replied: “To have a hidden agenda, we must already be able to move forward in the process in a profound way. We haven't even held the dialogue, they talk to us about a hidden agenda. The dialogue is an inclusive national dialogue that we wanted to be sovereign”.
Whose fault is it? Chadian government officials in the talks, held last month in Qatar, de facto eliminated any parties that might disagree with the Transitional Military Council (TMC). The latter, chaired by the son of Idriss Déby Itno, Mahamat Déby, is gaining more and more power. To the point that the civil government, installed under pressure from Paris, is nothing more than a puppet administration.
For the time being, the national dialogue which was to be held on May 10 is postponed indefinitely. As for the opposition, she is simply fed up.
Managing Wakit Tama, Déby's puzzle
A state of affairs that could worsen with the confrontation between Wakit Tama and Chadian decision-makers becoming inevitable. Indeed, this Monday, General Intelligence summoned the movement's coordinator, Max Loalngar. He says he won't show up.
" I'm not going to. I'll be home, you can come and tie me up and take, kill me and bring my dead body to audition. Laws are not made for dogs. We have Law 33 (governing the legal profession, editor's note). We can't come and get a lawyer like that and bring him. It is because we have an order that is not reactive, otherwise we could have denounced to demand the release of our comrade,” Loalngar said. The activist clarified that the demonstrations will resume on May 28.
Since the last elections in Chad, won in April 2021 by the late Idriss Déby, a week before his death, Wakit Tama has become a key player in Chadian politics. Unlike the rebel groups and political parties, the movement is, precisely, well established in N'Djamena, with a large capacity to mobilize. A popularity that Idriss Déby had heavily repressed in his time. However, for Mahamat Déby, things are not so simple.
Indeed, the young Chadian putschist has been trying since taking power to curry favor with the opposition, but also to stay close to the good offices of Paris. On the one hand, therefore, he cannot adopt his father's methods. On the other hand, his dubbing by France bears a strong resemblance to a desire from Paris to keep him in power.