A call for the withdrawal of French troops from Chadian soil has been circulating on social media since Thursday, September 28. Among the 21 signatories are members of civil society, political parties, the diaspora, and individuals within the country.
The author of the statement is Ordjei Abderahim Chaha, the President of the Rally for Justice and Equality in Chad (Rajet) party. He identifies himself as a member of the “Wakit Tama political section” and claims that his call resonates with the concerns of many Chadians who no longer wish for the presence of French troops.
According to Chaha, this presence is perceived as support for the current regime of Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the son of the late President Idriss Deby Itno. He stated in a phone interview, “It is a negative presence. We say no. As a political actor, I have warned the French leaders in writing, saying, ‘Be careful about the politics you are engaged in. It is a very wrong policy. Do not meddle in and do not support a system that the Chadian people do not want.'”
He continued, “Now you see, the Chadian people are more aware and have understood that France brings nothing. French politics bring nothing to Chad. The Chadian people are not against France, but we are against French politics in Chad. I hesitated several times. But you have to change because you have taken the wrong side: you have placed a system that confronts the Chadian people and kills the Chadian people. These are people who embezzle money and do not care about the fate of the Chadian people. And often, they openly declare that they are supported by France.”
The text requests the departure of French troops within three months and the cancellation of agreements between Paris and Ndjamena. When contacted on Friday, September 29, 2023, leaders of the Chadian civil society mentioned as signatories stated that they do not recognize themselves in this statement. Jacques Ngarassal of the Chadian Anti-Corruption Organization (OTAC), for instance, expressed his disassociation from the statement.