By Patrick Ilunga…..
Chad’s Transitional Military Council is backing down and is reviewing the measures it took just a day ago by allowing ministers in the government of slain leader Idriss Deby to continue working.
In a statement on Wednesday evening, the junta also reviewed curfew hours, reopened borders and said all officials on duty before President Deby’s death would serve until new elections are held.
The Transitional Military Council said it will allow ministers to ensure “the continuity of public services until the installation of the new transitional government”.
It said they should “continue to deal with current affairs and cannot take any new measures relating to the assignment, appointment of personnel, expenditure commitments, reform of vehicles”.
It is not known why this turnaround, just a day after these steps were taken.
As the news of the death of President Idriss Deby Itno was made public, Chadians learnt from the new authorities that they will stay indoors for most of the days. Now the curfew hours have been reduced to between 8pm and 5am.
The Transitional Military Council had decided to dissolve the government and the National Assembly and institute a 14-day national mourning throughout the country.
The council nevertheless intends to lead the country for an 18-month transition period at the end of which “democratic” elections will be organised.
In N’djamena, opponents of Deby Itno’s regime gathered to pressure the new leaders to convene a dialogue that would bring all Chadians together.
The junta appointed Deby’s son, Mahamat Deby, as interim leader who will head the military council for 18 months, leading a group of 69 officials he handpicked.
On Wednesday, the council said Deby junior will perform duties of the “president of the republic.” It was an apparent climb-down from tough talk the previous day when the council announced that President Deby had died from gunshot wounds sustained in a battle front a day earlier.
The group that is responsible for the death, known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (Fact) warned it will target the capital to eliminate what it called a “monarchy”.
Nonetheless, there was lack of clarity on whether the constitution suspended on Monday will be reinstated. The junta announced a “charter” in which the officials were appointed and new declarations made.
Both the African Union (AU) and the UN loathe suspension of constitutions as well as any changes in government that do not follow the law.
Chad could be suspended from the AU if the military clings to power.