Chad’s military rulers appointed a new government Sunday after the death of President Idris Debbie’s battlefield, but leading opposition figures rejected the appointments as a continuation of an old order they hoped to obliterate.
A military council headed by Debbie’s son, Mahamat Idris Debbie, took power after he died and promised to hold elections within 18 months. The former colonial power, France, backed the council, but the opposition and rebels rejected the takeover as a coup and said the military should relinquish power to a civilian government.
Thousands took to the streets last week to protest military rule. At least six people were killed in clashes with police. The opposition called for a transitional government led by a civilian president with a military vice president.
Most of the ministers in the new government held positions under Debbie. His son is president. His ally, Albert Pahimi Padake, was appointed prime minister last week.
“This gives the impression of a house built starting with the roof,” opposition leader Succes Masra told Reuters. “It won’t get far until we get back to the basics people want: a civilian president, a (military) vice president.”
Debbie has built international partnerships by sending his well-trained troops to troubled areas across the region to fight Boko Haram and other al Qaeda and Islamic State groups.
Its main ally, France, has about 5,100 troops based throughout the region as part of international efforts to combat Islamist militants, including its main base in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.
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