AU seeks 'democratic transition' in Chad in 18 months

The new junta, headed by Idriss Deby Itno's four-star general son Mahamat, has appointed a transitional civilian government and promised on 20 April to hold elections within 18 months.

In this file photo taken on 9 April 2021, four star general and head of the Republican Guard in Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, son of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, is seen in N'djamena, during the closing rally of the 2021 presidential campaign. Picture: MARCO LONGARI/AFP

LIBREVILLE - The African Union on Thursday called for a "democratic transition" within 18 months in Chad, where a junta took charge in April after veteran ruler Idriss Deby Itno died fighting rebels.

The new junta, headed by Deby's four-star general son Mahamat, has appointed a transitional civilian government and promised on 20 April to hold elections within 18 months.

The African Union underscored "the absolute need for a transition towards a democratic regime to be achieved within 18 months", in a statement issued in French.

The AU said it "categorically rejects any form of extension of the transition period".

The junta has declared victory after a month-long operation against rebels in the northwest of the Sahel country.

Deby senior, who led the country for three decades, was killed after being injured in fighting with the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a large armed group with a rear base in Libya.

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