Chad unveils national unity government following weeks of dialogue

The transitional period was pushed for two additional years.

Chad appointed a number of former rebels in its new national unity government on Friday following weeks of dialogue in N’Djamena that were launched after five months of Qatari mediation.

The African nation appointed the former rebels to ministerial positions under its new administration, set to remain in office for two additional years until elections take place, per a Reuters report.

Chad named Tom Erdimi as the minister of higher education and Assileck Halata Mahamat as the minister of urbanism. 

Tahir Hamid Nguilin is now serving as the budget and finance minister and will be in charge of talks with the International Monetary Fund.

The latest development is the result of a national dialogue that was finally established between conflicting movements following years of political unrest.

Five months of talks in Doha, which ended on 8 August with the signing of a historic peace agreement, allowed for the way for the long-delayed national dialogue.

The peace-building talks in Qatar gathered more than 50 movements in an effort to pave the way for long-promised elections ahead of the deadline set for the junta’s 18-month rule. 

It also resulted in a crucial ceasefire between warring factions, a move that garnered global praise. 

Political unrest

Chad had faced a period of political unrest since the killing of former leader Idriss Deby in 2021. 

The late leader, who ruled for some 30 years, died in April last year during a military offensive led by rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).

FACT, a key rebel group, refused to sign the accord in Doha and has also rejected talks in the Chadian capital.

The former leader’s son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno then assumed the Presidency of Chad’s Transitional Military Council (TMC). 

The 38-year-old leader had dissolved the parliament after coming into office, while promising elections by the end of the transitional period in October. However, Deby extended the transitional period by two years.

“The mission of our government is specific and it will consist in leading our country towards the first free and fair elections in its political history,” said newly-appointed prime minister Saleh Kebzabo.

Kebzabo, who ran for presidency in the 2016 elections against Chad’s former leader, came to office last week after the resignation of Albert Pahimi Padacke. The former prime minister was appointed by Deby when he assumed power following his father’s death.

Qatar’s mediation efforts

Qatar has long mediated between conflicting parties in different parts of the world.

In 2009, Qatar sponsored the signing of the “Doha Accord”, also known as the “Darfur agreement”, between Khartoum and N’Djamena.

The agreement, co-sponsored with Libya, was signed amid tensions between Sudan and Chad in 2008, with both countries accusing each other of supporting insurgent groups and rebel attacks inside their territories.

Chad accused Sudan of supporting rebels who sought to oust late president Deby, whereas Sudan accused Chad of supporting rebels in the western province of Darfur.

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