Chadian police use tear gas to disperse anti-French protest

The protest was convened by the Chadian civil society coalition Vaquit Tamm to denounce France’s support for the Transitional Military Council, which seized power after death on the battlefield of President Idriss Déby in April 2021, the spokesman said.

Debi’s son Mahamat Idriss is leading a military transition that has yet to set a timetable for a return to constitutional rule.

“We are demonstrating against France for its support of the transitional military council,” said Mahmoud Moussa, a secondary school teacher in the Chadian capital who joined the protest.

A spokesman for the transitional government could not be contacted for comment.

Protesters vandalized several gas stations in N’Djamena owned by the French oil company TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA). According to a Reuters reporter, some set fire to French flags while a Russian flag was hoisted from a mast in the center of N’Djamena.

As France’s influence wanes in its former colonies, recent protests in places like Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have sparked calls for increased military ties with Russia rather than France.

Chad is seen as a strong ally of the West in the fight against Islamist militants in the region. Several Western countries, including France, maintain troops at bases in the country.

The capital of Chad is the central command post of France’s counter-terrorist operation in the West Africa region. About 1,000 French soldiers are based there.

The French Embassy in N’Djamena was unable to immediately comment on the protest.

Last week, the embassy denied a rumor that France was planning to establish new French military bases in Chad, calling it an attempt at disinformation.

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