Chad: Persistent Gaps in Investigation Surrounding the Death of Opposition Figure Yaya Dillo

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Tensions continue to simmer in the wake of the death of one of the fiercest opposition figures to the Déby regime, both father and son, Yaya Dillo, on February 28th. His demise occurred during a raid by security forces on the headquarters of his party, the PSF. While the government maintains that he was killed in a confrontation while armed, his family denounces what they describe as extrajudicial execution, refusing to mourn according to tradition and demanding the truth.

Against this backdrop, the National Transitional Council of Chad, convened yesterday amidst a nearly half-empty chamber— with about a hundred counselors absent— voted 103 in favor of a resolution supporting President Mahamat Idriss Déby, commending him for “launching an investigation to shed light on the unfortunate events of February 27th and 28th, 2024, to determine responsibility.” However, the investigation is still in its nascent stages.

Magistrates’ Task Force

According to sources, the investigation only truly commenced towards the end of last week. The prosecutor, alongside a team of magistrates, visited the Koro-Toro prison to probe the violence surrounding Yaya Dillo’s death on February 27th and 28th. Our sources also indicate the presence of the tribunal’s president during this visit.

“They have interviewed all those detained in connection with this case and are working on their report, which will be ready in about two days,” our source adds, noting that “this is when we will have more clarity.” As for the “international” investigation announced by Prime Minister Succès Masra, another high-ranking source reveals that it has not yet commenced. “We needed to first establish exactly what happened before launching an international inquiry,” she justified, explaining that at this stage, nothing has been decided regarding its nature or composition. “But its principle has been agreed upon,” she emphasized.

Areas of Uncertainty

Acknowledging the persistence of numerous areas of uncertainty three weeks after the eruption of violence, our sources concede that neither the government nor the Chadian judiciary can provide, or perhaps are unwilling to provide, an exact tally of casualties accompanying Yaya Dillo’s death, how many others are detained at Koro-Toro, and crucially, no clarity has emerged regarding the precise circumstances of the Chadian opposition figure’s demise.


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