Pro-democracy demonstrators Tuesday took to the streets of Chadian capital N’Djamena and its second-largest city, Moundou, demanding a return to civilian rule after the military took control following President Idriss Déby’s death on the battlefield last week.
According to Reuters, at least two people have been killed and 27 injured as police fired tear gas and protesters burned tyres in several neighbourhoods of N’Djamena.
Reuters said a health official at a hospital in N’Djamena said 28 people had been brought to its emergency ward with injuries, one of whom had died and witnesses also reported the death of another protester in Moundou.
“The police came, they fired teargas. But we are not scared,” a protester, Timothy Betouge, 70, told the news media.
The military council had Monday banned protests, saying no demonstrations that could lead to disorder were allowed while the country was still in mourning.
Tension has spiked in Chad since Mr Déby’s death and the military seized power after a coup last week. The agitation for democracy underscores citizens weariness of three decades of monolithic, autocratic rule of the former strongman.
So too has as anti-French sentiment risen after France pulled its weight behind the coup, saying it was needed to stabilise the country which is battling to fend off threats from rebel forces and terrorists.
The military has been unable to consolidate power as opposition politicians have rejected the 18 months transition period announced by the junta now led by Mr Déby’s son, Mahamat.
READ ALSO: After Deby’s death, Chadian army executes coup, dissolves parliament, suspends constitution
The announcement of Albert Pahimi Padacké as prime minister of a transitional government on Monday has also been met with strong opposition.
“We do not want our country to become a monarchy,” Mbaidiguim Marabel, a 34-year-old protester, said. “The military must return to the barracks to make way for a civil transition.”
Concerns have also been raised over the implication of the unrest in Chad to neighbouring countries like Nigeria as the battle against terror groups continue.
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