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Several reported dead after opposition group attacks security forces in Chad's capital

By Mandy Donalds
|
February 29, 2024

In the heartland of central Africa, the nation of Chad witnessed a violent outburst that resulted in several fatalities.

The incident, described by government officials, involved an assault by an opposition faction on the headquarters of the National State Security Agency (ANSE) in the nation's capital.

This event unfolded just a day after the announcement of the country's upcoming presidential election date.

The events set a tense prelude to what is expected to be a closely watched electoral process, as Fox News reported.

The Attack: Opposition Versus State

The government's communication channels were quick to attribute the attack to The Socialist Party Without Borders, spearheaded by Yaya Dillo.

Dillo, not just an opposition leader but also a relative of the current president, positions himself as a formidable candidate in the impending election.

The government's spokesperson, Abderaman Koulamallah, provided a brief account of what occurred.

He said, "The situation is now totally under control," while highlighting the swift arrest of some assailants and the active pursuit of others.

However, specifics on the casualties or the exact number of individuals affected were not disclosed.

Koulamallah also connected this violent outbreak to a preceding event on the same day, involving the arrest of the opposition party's finance secretary.

The secretary faced allegations of attempting to assassinate the president of the country's supreme court.

That scenario further complicated the already volatile political landscape in Chad.

Political Backdrop and Internet Blackout

The roots of the current political climate trace back to the ascendancy of Mahamat Deby Itno.

Deby assumed the mantle of interim president following the demise of his father, who had been at the helm for over three decades until his fall in conflict with rebels in 2021.

The subsequent decision by the government to extend the initially planned 18-month transition period by an additional two years sparked widespread discontent and demonstrations throughout the nation.

In a move that further escalated tensions, the government announced Tuesday that the presidential elections were scheduled for May 6.

Following the assault on the ANSE office, the capital experienced an internet shutdown on Wednesday afternoon, a development that has heightened anxieties and uncertainties amongst the populace.