Chad military government agrees to peace talks with opposition
Major rebel group refuses to participate.
Chad's military President, Mahamat Idriss Deby Etno, reached an agreement with more than 40 opposition organizations on Monday to begin national peace negotiations later this month, while the major rebel group has refused to participate.
After five months of mediation by Qatar, the 38-year-old general and opposition representatives signed the agreement in Doha. The historic discussions will begin on August 20 in N'Djamena. Despite last-minute efforts by Qatar's mediators, the largest rebel organization, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), stated it would not sign the deal.
Diplomats and negotiators told AFP that Chad's junta was scheduled to meet rebel leaders in Qatar for the signature of an accord in Doha that will start landmark peace talks aiming for elections later this year.
Mahamat Deby was proclaimed President on April 2021, right after the death of his father Idriss Deby, at the head of a transitional military council of 15 generals.
His father, Idriss Déby, who took power in December 1990 following a military coup that ousted his predecessor, Hissène Habré, was killed while fighting the principal opposition Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) after ruling Chad for 30 years.
Some 1,360 people will participate in the inclusive national dialogue today, including representatives of civil society, trade unions, and government officials.
Others include foreign ministers from countries concerned with stability in Central and West Africa to be also present for the signing.
"Even without FACT, there is a majority in favor of starting the talks in N'Djamena on August 20," the negotiator for one group said.