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Vol 57 No 10

Published 13th May 2016


Chad

Missing men mar Déby’s win

The President’s deeply-flawed re-election attracted little foreign comment but a storm is now brewing over the disappearance of up to 60 soldiers

With President Idriss Déby Itno dominating the political scene and tightly controlling an election process to prevent effective monitoring by civil society, his outright victory in the 10 April first round of the contest was never seriously in doubt. But while that – and the tacit acquiescence of Western governments for whom Chad is a critical security partner – was par for the course, a growing furore over missing soldiers is putting strong pressure on the regime. A claim that soldiers who failed to vote for Déby had disappeared, or possibly had been murdered, was first made on 18 April by opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo, who said some of their bodies had been seen floating in the River Chari. Officials brushed this off by claiming the troops were simply posted away from Ndjamena. The visiting United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, publicly raised the issue but also praised Chad's support in tackling Boko Haram.

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