Hundreds of Chadians joined anti-French protests called by the opposition coalition Wakit Tama on Saturday, May 14.
Protesters oppose France’s military presence in the country and support for transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who has been in power since his father’s death in 2021.
They reportedly attacked “symbols” of their former colonial power, including several Total petrol stations.
The protest was mainly attended by students with many on motocycles and chanting “France get out”.
**”Now France is meddling in politics, we don’t know, now the whole Chadian territory is occupied by the French army. The French army is concerned with the wealth of Chad’s subsoil and not with the well-being of the Chadian people.”**Souleyman Tahir, Protester
Former president, Idriss Déby Itno, headed an authoritarian regime for 30 years and was killed in battle on April 20, 2021, during a rebellion in the north of the country.
Chadian police fired tear gas and used water canon to disperse hundreds of protesters who took to the streets of the capital and other towns in an anti-French protest that saw the destruction of some French-linked businesses.
The protest was called by Chadian civil society coalition Wakit Tamma to denounce France’s backing of the Transitional Military Council that seized power following the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021, a spokesman said.
As France’s influence wanes in its former colonies, recent protests in countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have seen calls for increased military ties with Russia instead of France.