The Chadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs “strongly condemned” the same day “an act of vandalism that nothing justifies”, without commenting on the alleged motives of the attackers. “Their slogans are confused. But at first glance, it is young illegal migrants denied the right to asylum in France, “said a Chadian diplomat not wishing to be named.
Chadian political opponents, for their part, downplayed the scope of this “administrative” claim. They invoke, rather, “an act of militancy” on the part of young asylum seekers, centered around two main demands, the departure of President Idriss Déby and the cessation of French support for N’Djamena.
From 3 to 6 February, Mirage of the French force Barkhane, whose joint operational center is in N’Djamena, stopped the advance of an armed column of the rebels of the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR), in the Ennedi plateau, in northeastern Chad.
This intervention was hailed by N’Djamena, but denounced by the Chadian opposition who saw it as “an act of interference”, even though the Chadian authorities had officially asked for help from France.
This is not the first French intervention in support of President Idriss Déby Itno, who has been in power since 1990, and is considered by Paris to be an important partner in the fight against terrorism. In 2008, an armed column of the UFR, from the east, had reached the heart of N’Djamena. France had then helped the loyalist forces, including by controlling the airport to refuel them with ammunition
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