The security services in Chad had foiled an “attempted destabilization” plot by army officers and a prominent human rights activist and arrested those responsible, some time after December 8, the government said in a statement on Thursday.
A group of 11 officers, led by Baradine Berdei Targuio, president of the Chadian Organization of Human Rights, were behind the attempt, according to the statement. A formal investigation had been opened for “violation of the constitutional order, criminal association, illegal possession of a firearm and complicity,” said Communications Minister Aziz Mahamat Saleh. “The investigation is following its course and the government means to do everything to shed light on this affair and to determine responsibility,” Saleh said.
Targuio was sentenced in February 2021 to three years in jail on charges of undermining the constitutional order for having written that Chad’s then leader, General Idriss Deby Itno, was seriously ill. Deby, who died in April 2022, has been replaced by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.
Outlawed demonstrations were held on October 20 to mark the date when the military junta had initially promised to cede power — a deadline that has now been extended by two years. Opposition groups oppose the official toll of 50 dead, including 10 members of the security forces. Deby accused the demonstrators of “insurrection” and attempt to stage a coup. A total of 401 people were put on trial in a court at the jail, proceedings that lawyers boycotted in protest.