The African Union sees Chad’s transformation from military to political leadership as a ‘total necessity’ within 18 months.
Within 18 months, the African Union called for a “political transformation” in Chad, where the military leadership took over in April following the death of veteran dictator Idriss Deby while the army was struggling against insurgents.
The new military government, led by Deby’s four-star general son Mahamat, nominated a transitional civilian leadership and agreed to hold elections in 18 months’ time on 20 April.
On Thursday, the African Union emphasized in a declaration in French “the absolute need to make the move to a democratic system within 18 months.”
The AU said that it “categorically rejects any form of transitional extension.”
After a month-long campaign against insurgents in the northwest of the Sahel, the military claimed victory.
Idriss Deby, the country’s 30-year-old leader, was murdered after injury in the Chad Front for Change and Concord (FACT), a big armed force with a Libyan rear base.
On Thursday too, a spokesperson for the International Monetary Fund stated that the Fund is continuing to meet to restructure Chad’s debt amid its military administration.
“I can assure you that a technical conference was held earlier this week by the creditor committee and a follow-up meeting is set for next week,” Gerry Rice informed the IMF headquarters in Washington.
Chad became the first nation in January to apply for debt reduction under the current G20 framework last year. The nation has struggled with a high debt load compounded by a COVID-19 slump, which dropped its key export oil prices.
High debt loads
The nation is one of many countries in Africa struggling with large debts, and Ethiopia and Zambia have made similar demands for debt relief.
In late January, a four-year interim deal under the extended credit facility and Extended Fund Facility, both seen as critical measures to restructure Chad’s debt, had been revealed by the Washington-based crisis lender.
However, the programs were not authorized by the IMF Executive Board. According to fund results, at the end of 2019, Chad’s external debt stood at 25.6% of GDP.
“To help rebound from this crisis, Chad desperately requires debt relief, and success with [Chad’s] common structure request would also help more countries to move ahead in the event of a debt restructuring,” Rice said.
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