It was supposed to be an inclusive national dialogue, bringing together the military junta, non-state armed groups, civil society, trade unions, and political parties.
But what authorities christened an ‘inclusive national dialogue’ has turned out to be quite divisive. At the origin of the Opposition walkout is the selection of a committee that will steer the work of the forum.
“We wanted this dialogue to be sincere. That is why we came here. But we have realized that the same system that has ruled for 30 years, that has brought the country to its knees, wants to stay in power and this is against the interests of the people. That is why we have unanimously decided to walk out of this masquerade, either we have a sincere dialogue, or we will take to the streets,” said one opposition leader.
The country’s Communication Minister, Abderaman Khoulamallah said those boycotting the dialogue have “turned their backs on the people of Chad and the welfare of the country.”
He said it wasn’t just another folkloric meeting, describing the current meeting as “real dialogue.”
More than 1,400 delegates from Chad’s military government, civil society, opposition parties, trade unions and rebel groups are participating in the Sovereign National Dialogue that is aimed at charting a new way for sustainable peace in Chad.
The Transitional Council led by General Mahamat Idriss Deby says the meeting should result in free, fair, and transparent elections to restore power to civilian rule after 18 months of military rule.
“Chad has suffered so much from fratricidal wars, from divisions, community violence, bad governance and corruption,” Deby told delegates.
“At the end of this dialogue, I dream of a Chad resolutely looking to the future; a Chad that is prosperous and modern, a country where everyone enjoys the same privileges; where social justice isn’t an empty slogan but a reality,” he said.
But political science professor, Dr. Ngarle Evariste ToLde casts doubts that the current effort would be any different from the 1993 Sovereign National Conference whose recommendations were widely accepted by the Chadian people, but unfortunately “have remained in the drawer up to this day.”
“We saw what happened after the 1993 Sovereign National Conference. There was a cahier des charge which was very much appreciated but which unfortunately ended in the drawers. So, Chadians are worried that once again, the resolutions end the same as the recommendations of the Sovereign National Conference, because there is no political will to help the country see the light. That is the problem”, he told Timescape Magazine.