AFRICA/CHAD - National Dialogue: Bishops suspend participation

Monday, 5 September 2022 bishops   dialogue  

N’Djamena (Agenzia Fides) - "There was no dialogue. For us, dialogue is based on mutual listening. (...) We have the impression of witnessing an election campaign in which on the one hand there are those who advocate change and renewal of the political class, and on the other hand those who want to continue to manage a skilfully orchestrated machine", said the Chadian bishops after renouncing their further participation in the national dialogue invited by the military junta, who took power in April 2021.
The Catholic Church leaders also lament "a crisis of confidence (...) between the various groups" taking part in the talks that began on August 20 in Ndjamena. "Therefore we feel compelled to suspend our participation in the meetings, so as not to support a group's control over the dialogue," declared the delegates of the Chadian Bishops' Conference.
However, the bishops stressed that they remain "available" to offer their services at all further stages of reconciliation, as long as it is "sincere".
The decision of the bishops' conference to refrain from participating in the dialogue was preceded by the sharp criticism voiced by the leaders of the Catholic associations and movements (Union des cadres chrétiens catholiques du Tchad - Ucct; Union des femmes chrétiennes catholiques du Tchad -Ufcct) at the end of August. ; Réseau des anciens Jécistes d'Afrique au Tchad -Raja-T).
"The hoped-for integration is only progressing slowly these days," complained Djimhodoum Edmond, representative of the Union of Catholic Christians in Chad. The lay Catholics also cited the lack of socio-political movements in the country as evidence. Lay Catholic leaders had also denounced the behavior of some groups which "tend to impose their hegemony" and "undermine the sovereignty of the assemblies".
The repeatedly postponed Inclusive and Sovereign National Dialogue (DNIS) opened on August 20 in N'Djamena but was boycotted by the majority of the opposition and two of the most powerful armed rebel movements and, after a three-day siege on the headquarters of the opposition party "Les Transformateur" suspended again. The siege was lifted yesterday, Sunday 4 September, with the release of militants arrested in recent days.
General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who appointed himself Head of State at the head of a Military Council of 15 generals in April 2021 following the death of his father President Idriss Déby Itno, had immediately promised an inclusive and sovereign National Dialogue (DNIS) "free and democratic "within 18 months. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/9/2022)