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Iran Press TV

Chad military junta names transition government; opposition less than impressed

Iran Press TV

Monday, 03 May 2021 7:41 AM

Chad's military junta, which took power last month following the battlefield death of longtime leader Idriss Deby, has named a new transition government, the army spokesman said.

Deby's death on the frontlines in a fight against northern rebels ended his 30-year Western-backed rule and triggered a political crisis in the poor Sahel country.

The so-called Transitional Military Council (CMT), led by Deby's son Mahamat Idriss Deby, seized power and promised to hold elections within 18 months.

The military council named a new government on Sunday, comprising 40 ministers and deputy ministers and created a new national reconciliation ministry to be headed by Acheick Ibn Oumar, a former rebel chief, army spokesman Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement.

Saleh Kebzabo, a long-time opposition leader, was not appointed to the transition government. But he released a statement, saying he "recognized" it. Two members of his party were given portfolios, however.

Another opposition figure, Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo, will be justice minister.

Previously, the opposition had branded the CMT's power seizure as an "institutional coup d'etat."

Chad has witnessed protests as well as an intensified campaign against rebels since Deby's death, which was announced just the day after he was declared the winner of an April 11 election.

Six people were killed and 650 arrested last week during demonstrations in N'Djamena and the south against the power seizure by the military council.

Earlier on Sunday, the junta lifted an overnight curfew introduced after Deby's death.

Meanwhile, the army said it had wiped out "several hundred" rebels in two days of fighting in the Nokou region, and had lost a helicopter during the fighting due to a "technical fault." The rebels said they had shot it down.

The transitional council says it will hold power for 18 months until democratic elections are held, a claim opposition parties have dismissed.

Opposition leader Succes Masra criticized the new appointments. "This will not go far as long as we do not return to the foundations desired by the people: a civilian president, a (military) vice-president."

The majority of ministers in the new government held positions under Deby. His son is president, while his ally, Albert Pahimi Padacke, was appointed prime minister last week.

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