What’s next for Chad?
The “quiet” sequence of President Debi, who was killed in action in 2021, did not last long. The future of Chad, which has been locked in central Africa and has played a key role in the fight against terrorist groups, is being questioned after dozens of people died following the crackdown on a demonstration-uprising in N’Djamena in October 2022. Here, everything will depend on how the strong ethno-clan determinisms that have engulfed the country in blood since the 1960s will be expressed in the conflictual regional context (Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Niger and CAR) that has been exacerbated by Turkey’s maneuvers. From Libya, as well as the Central African Republic from Russia.
The great Chadian reality is that deep internal fissures in society still exist and are constantly being reactivated. After independence, political life in Chad revolves around four main northern ethnic groups, namely the Zagawa, Tibesti Toubu (Teda), Ennedi-Oum Chalouban’s Toubu (Daza-Gorane) and Waday Arabs. Together, these peoples, who have a strong warrior tradition, make up less than 25% of Chad’s population. However, after gaining independence, the history of the country was written around their alliances, divisions, rivalries and more or less temporary reconciliations. Since 1963, all the wars in Chad have been going on around these peoples. The future of the country depends on their relations, the southern majority of the population is only a spectator-victim of their heartaches and ambitions.
Before French colonization, these northern ethnic groups regularly raided sedentary southerners, kidnapping slaves who resold them in Libya, Sudan, or Egypt. Deprived of these “resources” by colonialism, they experienced a slow slumber accentuated by France’s preference for the agricultural Chad of the south, the “useful Chad” where cotton grew.
Southern ethnic groups, including the Sara, welcomed colonialism, which freed them from northern tyranny, and accepted schooling, Christianity, and military recruitment. The result of this choice was that the southerners had executive heads, unlike the northerners who remained walled in their traditions and independence. After inheriting the country, they wanted revenge on their former raiders, which led to the reaction of the latter and the first wars that broke out in Chad in 1963.
Chadian originality is added to this “classic” Sahelian scheme of opposition between nomadic northerners and sedentary southerners, which paralleled the North-South war, which to some extent crowned it, with the expansion of the internal war in the North. Chad’s conflict has become international.
Thus, in early February 1986, the Libyan army crossed the 16e in parallel supporting Goukouni Weddeye, a Toubou from Tibesti, who was at war with Hissène Habre of Toubou-Goran. In response, France launched an operation on February 14 sparrow hawk which is successfulOperation Manta. Colonel Gaddafi then realized that France would not allow him to take over Chad and stopped helping Goukuni Weddeye, who went into exile in Algeria.
Hissène Habré therefore won, but Zagawa Anakaza led by Idriss Deby Itno, Hissène Habré’s Goran tribe and 1.er In December 1990, they captured N’Djamena.
Then, from 2003, President Idriss Deby remained in the spiral of the Darfur conflict, and from 2006 to 2010, the wars between Chad and Sudan continued without interruption.
Finally, on January 15, 2010, after numerous battles won by Idris Debi Itno, peace agreements were signed and the war in Chad ended.
However, in April 2021, rebels under the command of Mahamat Mehdi Ali, a Gorane Daza from Libya, launched an attack, and it was by counterattacking them that Idris Debi was killed. He was succeeded by his son.