Security forces kill at least 60 as protests engulf Chad capital
AFP, MADAGASCAR, SAINT BENOI, SADR, SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 10 – Demonstrators have stormed parliament building in the capital city of the African nation of Chad and set fire to vehicles, police say.
A series of protests broke out in the country on Monday, triggered by allegations that President Idriss Déby had been accused of fraud.
About 60 people have died in clashes with security forces, and thousands have fled their homes.
Police chief Djibril Bassam said police seized “a lot of weapons” while chasing protesters out of a building in downtown Chadian capital, Ndjamena.
“They tried to enter the chamber of parliament, they were being stopped by police, and we captured weapons, so that’s why we are going after the weapons,” Djibril said.
Chadian Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Kabilu said in a Facebook message that “those who took the weapons have fled”.
The leader of the Chadian Movement for Human Rights, which is seeking to hold Déby accountable for the alleged fraud, said his organisation “cannot allow the government to use bullets to eliminate the opposition”.
Chad has been at the centre of international attention for its political turmoil, with the former leader, Ange-Felix Patasse (AAP), fleeing the country amid claims of abuse of human rights.
The United Nations also voiced serious concerns over the situation.
Chad was one of the first countries in Africa to be granted independence – in 1960 – but its political parties have struggled to establish a coherent system.
It has been in a state of turmoil since the Chadian president, Idriss Déby, was ousted in a coup in 1984.
Déby and his two successors have been accused of corruption as well as a lack of democratic rights.
In the past few days, two people have died