What happens next in Central African Republic is anyone’s guess, but Chad is likely to remain an important player in CAR politics.
Chad’s president Idriss Deby “lost patience” with Francois Bozize, as RFI reports, and along with Francois Hollande, ignored Bozize’s last calls for support. RFI asks why Deby, who helped bring Bozize to power a decade ago, recently turned against him. Read the RFI story, Centrafrique: Bozizé lâché par Déby, ignoré par Hollande. My translation/summary:
Deby’s entourage says the Chadian president was simply tired of dealing with Bozize. In May 2012 Deby went to Bangui and publicly called on Bozize to dialogue with the opposition. That was a sign of the tension already existing between the two heads of state.
In private, Idriss Deby reportedly asked Bozize to drop his plan to modify the constitution so that he could run for a third term…. Bozize had hard time accepting this advice from Deby who, himself, had modified the constitution of Chad to stay in power.
While debate continues in the Western press over Idriss Deby Itno’s claim that Abou Zeid and Mokhtar Belmokhtar are dead, news from Chad suggests there’s little support for Deby’s decision to send Chadian soldiers to Mali. Al Jazeera reports that, “Many in Chad are sceptical of Mali offensive.”
La Nouvelle Expression in Cameroon writes that Deby’s military move is an attempt by an old putchist to improve his image. Deby’s country is paying a heavy price, La Nouvelle Expression writes, but Deby accepts it courageously. For Chadian blogger Makaila the losers in Mali are the people of Chad. “Que toute l’opposition tchadienne se taise car désormais, Hollande, Obama et les autres, ne jureront que par (Deby).” (The Chadian opposition should shut up because from now on Hollande, Obama and the others will only swear by Deby.)
How many more jihadists and Chadian fighters need to die before all of Deby’s past sins are forgiven?