The Prelude

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Human rights organizations accused the Chadian government of executing and torturing protesters who participated in last week’s demonstrations against the country’s military ruler’s plans to extend his grip on power, EURACTIV reported Tuesday.

Last week, thousands of people protested across Chad to denounce a move by interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby to prolong the military junta’s rule for another two years. Chadian opposition groups had called for peaceful protests on Oct. 20 to mark the date when the military had promised to hand over power in the unstable Sahel country.

But authorities launched a violent crackdown on protesters, killing 50.

On Monday, Deby – who has been in power since the April 2021 death of his father, President Idriss Deby – blamed opposition groups for the chaos. He also accused them of having a “clear desire to trigger a civil war” while colluding with “foreign powers,” although he did not offer specifics.

And while the official death toll was put at 50, the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) countered that at least 80 people died. They added that hundreds of others have been arrested, while some individuals have been tortured.

Meanwhile, the United Nations and the African Union have condemned the actions against protesters and called for an investigation into alleged human rights violations.

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