When Idriss Deby’s regime just took over authority in Chad in late 1990, many Chadians predicted that dignity and freedom had shined in Chad and tyranny time with totalitarian rules had gone irrevocably, especially after the famous saying of Idriss Deby: “I have not come to you with gold and silver, I came to you with freedom and democracy.”
Many dissidents, exiles and rebels against Hussein Habre’s regime began to return to the country to seize this opportunity to contribute to the country’s development and stability in the light of the atmosphere and the statements of the new system, which called for optimism.
A lot of Chadian citizens and politicians held great hopes in this new system which called for freedom, equality and justice and democracy after three decades of civil wars and bloody which had exhausted the people, devastated the country and contributed to the failure of the country to keep up with other countries that have evolved and progressed because of the policy of good governance and democratisation.
Less than a few months later, some politicians began a review of their decision to return to Chad after disputes began between the companions of arms “Idriss Deby,” the current president “and Abbas Koty “, second man in the National Salvation Movement (MPS) “, as well as Gen Maldoum Bada Abbas,” Deby’s Interior Minister and other leaders, which led to the assassination of Abbas Koty and Maldoum Bada Abbas under the pretext of trying to overthrow the government.
Since the first year of Idriss Deby’s rule over Chad, and up to the moment of writing this article, the armed rebel movements did not end in Chad, starting from the movement of Abbas koty , Maldoum Bada Abbas, Mossa Middela, Gokouni Gaate, Lokein Bardi and Kette Moise and through the movement of Joseph Togimi and the trial of Mahamat Nour Abdelkarim in 2006 and final attempt of Gen Mohammed Nouri in early 2008. The conflict with the authoritarian political regime didn’t stop on both sides of the internal opposition parties and the armed movements on the border.
The reality of reconciliation:
Since Idriss Deby began ruling the country, he began to eliminate rivals of his own army companions under false pretenses and usually under the name of military coup in order to gain absolute control of the government.
After the accusation that Colonel Abbas Koty was attempting a coup, he fled to Sudan.
Reconciliation was held by Colonel Gaddafi to bring peace between Deby and Abbas Koty. An agreement was proposed under the auspices of Sudan and guarantees were given by Gaddafi to Abbas Koty, but Idriss Deby did not abide by the agreement and Abbas Koty was assassinated in his home. “According to sources”, a coup attempt was pretexted, although many sources claim that Abbas Koty was assassinated in his house after a raid by Deby’s forces.
Deby then assassinated Maldoum Bada Abbas after he accused him of attempting a coup during the rebellion of some officers belonging ethnically to Maldoum Bada Abbas.
Because the people of Chad don’t accept tyranny and slavery of rulers, Katie Moise and Lokein Barde and other armed insurgents began struggling against Idriss Deby’s regime. Eventually, Deby called for convening of a peace and reconciliation agreement with them before being assassinated.
On the other hand, Deby held several viable peace agreements with some of the rebel leaders who found it necessary to return to the bosom of the system, either due to their inability to continue the struggle against the regime or purely for personal purposes or for their confidence in the system and guarantees provided by Deby.
But the bulk of insurgency leaders that have signed peace agreements with Deby and were saved from physical assassination have been eliminated through political pretext issues of financial corruption or melted down in the secondary departments that had no impact on the political life in the country.
It is during these playoffs that opposition political leaders seemed confident that the philosophy of Deby in the peace and reconciliation is not based on national interest or to avoid Chadian blood shed or for the country’s development and the extension of the foundations of a true democracy but it’s clearly based on assassination of opponents physically through fake peace agreements or politically via dissidents issues of corruption in order to have absolute control of the country and its wealth.
Hopes for reconciliation:
After the second events of February 2008 and the failure of the opposition to knockdown Deby’s system, many observers expected that Deby’s regime would learn from this lesson and offer genuine reconciliation to removes the specter of war once again, especially after he agreed with neighbour, Omar AlBashir of Sudan to stop the mutual hostility and also based on the concluding practices of the Magistrate court, abide by agreement of both parties, and after expulsion, most of the Chadian opposition leaders and Darfurians leaders from both countries continued to abide by the peace agreement.
But Deby, after Sudan expelled Chadian political opposition leaders from its territory and some of the military leaders returned to Chad, after he launched what he called the “ reconciliation of stretched hand policy”, which was only a hoax and a ploy to dump the armed opposition of its influential leaders and smelting those that returned to the country,” Deby returned again to tyranny governance and didn’t fulfill the promises made to some opponents after they returned to Chad “, instead he put those who trusted him and returned to the country in prison”, he thought that this was the last era of rebellion in Chad.
As is the case every time Deby reneges on his agreements and promises of reconciliation, a new rebel movement appeared, in this case, encouraging social media spread in Chad and around the globe and the transfer of information and news about what is happening in Chad like crimes and policies of corruption that were exercised by Deby and some members of his family and his regime. These events now become accessible to everyone, especially corruption and political assassinations, arbitrary arrests, gagged and stenosis on freedom of opinion and expression crimes. In recent times, insurgencies led by a new generation of leaders of the second row of the rebellion from those which failed to overthrow Deby in 2008, including Movement of Action to change in Chad, MACT, that was led by Dr Ali Ordjo Hemichi and the movement of national harmony of the resistance for democracy, CNRD, that is led by Dr Abu Bakr Tohlmy and another one led by Mahdi ‘Issa Qar’an and RFC movement led by veteran, Timane Irdimi, as well as the presence of influential opposition political movements, especially in France exile which play an important role in the formation of the French and international public opinions toward Chad’s issues “such as MAR Movement that is led by Adam Hamid” Suogey “and other movements, despite the discrepancies between these movements in their potentials and vision, but they agree on the objective of getting rid of Deby’s regime.
In the midst of the atmosphere of the Arab Spring, which swept the Arab world in 2011 with systems changed and countries destroyed, we were hoping that Idriss Deby’s regime will be based on reconciliation and maintain the supreme interest of the country and open the door of a genuine dialogue with the political opposition abroad and local parties at home, rather than methods of Machiavellians in dealing with issues like supreme interest of the country by betting on the power of money and influence to destroy the political process in the country and impose a fait accompli policy and totalitarian rule regardless of the presence of real dangers looming on the horizon and that the returning of the armed rebellion is only a matter of time and in case of outbreak of a new armed conflict, realistic trends and evidences on ground expect that Deby’s regime will not be able to stand up again !.
Trends that portend the imminent demise of Deby regime:
1. The demise of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime “spiritual father of Deby which provided support for Deby to overthrow Habre’s regime.”
2. The demise of Blaise Compaore’s regime in Burkina Faso “ Deby’s best companion”
3. The promises of French new socialist president Francois Hollande “not to support totalitarian regimes in Africa”.
4. The political burden of Deby’s dictatorial regime on France, especially during Libya crisis, Deby where supporting Colonel Gaddafi’s regime.
5. Deby’s comments months ago when he called to decode CFA franc link to French franc, under which France reserves 60 percent incomes of 12 African countries, sparking the ire of France that pushed French authorities to reopen a genocide case filed by some victims of Deby at an African Court in Senegal, “like Hussein Habre’s case in Senegal courts.”
6. Breaking up with Darfur Movement for Justice and Equality, (which backed Deby against Chadian rebels) after the killing of its leader, Dr. Khalil Ibrahim, “with presence of allegations and involvement in the killing by Deby “
7. The economic crisis experienced by the country because of involvement in war in Central Africa, Mali and wars on terrorist organisation, Boko Haram and also because of rampant corruption in the country and falling price of oil. (Chad has been producing oil since 2003).
8. The lack of security in the country after painful series of blows that were carried out by terror organisation, Boko Haram in the ranks of Chadian army participating in fight against Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin, as well as terrorist attacks by the organisation in Chad, especially in the capital N’Djamena and in the police training centre and public security as well as in areas and villages on Chad western border, with a growing feeling among citizens that Deby’s regime was not taking responsibility of people’s security and protecting them when bombings were targeted against the headquarters of public security and police training centre in the capital, N’Djamena. Deby was on vacation in his home town Am Djarasse in the east of the country for a month, he didn’t bother to pay condolences to the victims despite they’re security men and citizens.
9. Non-payment of salaries for staff and students and the large number of strikes organised by trade unions and student unions.
10. The growing strength of the armed movements on Chad borders where several movements are managing camps set up after the availability of arms smuggled from Libya and elsewhere.
11. The existence of conflicts along Chad’s border in the West where terrorist organisation, Boko Haram is active “and yesterday Chad government announced state of emergency in west Chad” also fighting in Republic of Central Africa border on going for more than a year, Sudan border is also uneasy with the growing strength of Darfur rebel movements and fighting on Libya border.
12. Growing differences within Deby’s family, which led to him isolating his brother, Timan Deby from Sultanate of the tribe, latest of those differences, Idriss Deby in prison, his brother, Sally Debbie, former Director General of Customs for refusing Deby’s instructions and for allegation that Sally was creating loyalist among army officers which leads Deby to dismiss, imprison and torture him.
13. Growing military orders refusal within Chad military leadership, “especially from Deby’s ethnic group” after Nigeria and Mali and the Central African war’s involvement by Chadian army.
14. After Deby’s refusal announcement not to run for the next session of the general election, Internal opposition reached an agreement to reject Deby’s nomination in the next presidential elections 2016, with indicators of French authorities’ unwillingness to nominate Deby in the upcoming elections.
15. The growing political awareness among Chadians since the spread of social communication, which Deby personally pays significant interest in, a tool that may play an important role in the outbreak of riots and demonstrations in case of fighting with the armed opposition.
Is there a way for reconciliation?
The nature of conflict and fighting in our human history is to reach ceasefire to stop fighting either after the victory of one party over another, or via reconciliation when both parties realize that continuous fighting is not in the interest of both sides either temporarily or permanently.
When both parties realize that any of them will not prevail over the other.
It is regrettable to say that wisdom is absent from our Chadian political scene, Deby’s regime is the party we hoped to put forward initiatives and projects for peace and reconciliation in order to trust the system, instead it believes that force is the only way to change the status quo imposed on the country and this is what is taken on the Deby regime, while Chad regime interests in these circumstances requires one to act wisely and intelligently, for the considerations mentioned above.
It’s also taken on the armed opposition groups for their narrow-minded “lack of innovation in the means of political action and a commitment to all military action to line up together” and the lack of a strategic vision between the rebel movements and because of not giving priority to the supreme interest of the country, not for their movement and personal interests.
The internal opposition parties also have no influential role in political decision because most of these parties do not have the tools designated to adhere to a clear line with the rest of internal opposition parties, that why most of these parties are subjects of blackmail by the regime.
Political reconciliation in Chad is possible if sacrifices made by all actors with the initiative of Deby’s ruling regime and the opposition peaceful parties inside the country and internal unification of the armed opposition groups with availability of a patron efficient which has desire and interest to extend peace and stability in Chad, some Gulf States and some Islamic regional countries may play a role to establish such a peace dialogue.
Does the regime desire reconciliation, stability and peace? Should we see in the coming days, calls for reconciliation, peace and stability in Chad?