Chad Military Council Refuses to Negotiate With Rebels

The ruling military council in Chad has said that it  will not negotiate with rebels, following an offer of ceasefire talks after the killing of President Idriss Deby.

“The time is not for mediation, nor for negotiation with outlaws,” military council spokesperson Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement.

“They are rebels, which is why we are bombing them. We are waging war, that’s all,” Agouna further said.

The statement came after rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) stated that they were prepared to observe a ceasefire and to discuss a political settlement after the death of Deby while in a battle in the northern Kanem region last April 19.

FACT also said that they did not endorse a “coup” and would not stand a “monarchy” after Deby’s son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby, came to power.

Opposition politicians have also condemned the military takeover as a coup.

The military council said it would oversee an 18-month transition to elections and called on Nigerian authorities to capture some rebels, including leader Mahamat Mahadi Ali, whom they said fled into the neighboring country.

“Chad calls for the cooperation and solidarity of Niger… to facilitate the capture and bringing to justice of these war criminals,” Agouna said.

FACT came over the northern border from Libya and launched an offensive last April 11 to demand for the end of Deby’s 30-year rule.

Deby was buried last April 23 and thousands attended his funeral, including French President Emmanuel Macron.

“France will never let anyone, either today or tomorrow, challenge Chad’s stability and integrity,” Macron said, but also called for the military to promote “stability, inclusion, dialogue, democratic transition.”

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