France Pledges More Support for Chad’s Military Junta as Leader Makes ‘Friendship’ Visit to Paris

Africa

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday pledged to increase aid to Chad after that country’s interim leader, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, said it would be needed in order to achieve the internationally-mandated 18-month transition to democratic rule following the death of his father in April.

Macron said Tuesday after two days of meetings with Deby Itno at the Palais de l’Élysée in Paris that “everything should be done to achieve the objectives of an inclusive, peaceful and successful transition in line with the provisions laid out by the African Union.”

Deby Itno, who heads the so-called Military Transition Council that seized power following the death of his father, Idris Deby, in battle in April, has pledged to hold “free and transparent” elections within 18 months, but warned that without international help the transitional process could take longer.

Before he was killed in battle with rebels outside the capital on April 20, Idris Deby had ruled the Sahelian nation for 30 years with the support of France, who got a reliable ally in central Africa out of the partnership. Chad was once a colony of France, and Paris has continued to involve itself in Chadian politics since its formal departure in 1960. Most recently, the capital of N’Djamena served as the headquarters of Operation Barkhane, Paris’ War on Terror-style campaign against Islamist groups across the Sahel.

The day of Deby’s funeral, Macron declared france was an…

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