Chad’s transition president orders crackdown after deadly attack on national security agency

Chad’s transition president orders crackdown after deadly attack on national security agency

Mahamat Idriss Deby orders immediate arrests of perpetrators after security forces besiege main opposition party’s offices

By James Tasamba

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Chadian transition President Mahamat Idriss Deby “strongly condemned” an attack on the National State Security Agency which killed several victims in the capital of N'Djamena.

He ordered security operations to immediately apprehend suspects behind the attack.

Deby made his remarks at a security meeting with senior military, security and judicial officials following the attack.

The president “reiterated that no one is above the law and ordered widespread operations in the city,” according to a statement late Wednesday by Communication Minister Abderaman Koullamalah, after the meeting.

Deby warned against any attempt to challenge state authority. “No one, regardless of status or origin, can act with impunity,” he said.

The meeting, which focused on national security, underscored the government's commitment to ensuring stability and the protection of citizens.

The attack occurred one day after the National Election Management Agency announced the country would hold presidential elections May 6 to end the three-year military rule.

Deby,37, took leadership of Chad in 2021 following the death of his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who died on the frontline of a war against rebels after ruling for 30 years.

He is set to contest for the presidency after the ruling Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) party designated him in January as its candidate under a new Constitution adopted following a referendum in December which allowed him to seek election.

Congolese President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) facilitator for Chad’s transition, late Wednesday strongly condemned acts of extreme violence that he said could likely disrupt the political transition process.

He urged an investigation to establish those responsible.

Sporadic gunfire was heard in N'Djamena on Wednesday afternoon following the attack on the National State Security Agency, according to media reports.

Earlier Wednesday, the government said the situation had been brought "totally under control" and perpetrators were arrested, according to a statement by Koullamalah, who said an investigation had been launched.

Authorities blamed the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders for the attack, according to the statement.

The government has yet to communicate the exact death toll.

The situation remained tense as sporadic gunfire was heard in the afternoon in the Bololo and Klemat districts, where the headquarters of the Socialist Party Without Borders is located.

Military vehicles were blocking roads before a relative lull set in, local media reported.

The movement of heavily armed military vehicles was observed across the capital and troops were deployed around the office of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders, according to reports.

Internet connections were disrupted in the country after the attack, NetBlocks, the internet’s observatory reported.

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