Former Chadian Defense Minister turned rebel chief Mahamat Nouri announced this week that a coalition of five rebel groups have agreed to a program to establish an “independent judiciary and elections within 18 months” if they succeed in toppling Chadian President Idriss Déby’s government. High-level rebel diplomacy over the past two months between a plethora of rebel factions resulted in the signing of this agreement, which is premised on the rebels’ goal of forceful regime change in Ndjamena.
Rebels usually don’t announce their coups in advance, but this is business as usual in Chad, where three coup attempts in the past three years are one indication of the extent of the serious internal political crisis gripping the country. Chad has never seen a peaceful transfer of power since its independence from France. The ongoing proxy war between Chad and neighboring Sudan have given President Déby an excuse to brutally crack down on civil society and to purchase massive stockpiles of weapons with the revenues from the notorious Chad-Cameroon pipeline project.
Nouri kept mum about the details of the impending rebel offensive on the Chadian government: "As soon as it is possible we will do it but at the moment we are not prepared to go to Ndjamena." The rainy season recently ended in Chad, and “rebellion season” is clearly underway.