Inauspicious start for Chad peace talks

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Chad’s junta on March 13 opened delayed peace talks with rebel and opposition groups in Qatar. But things got off to a bad start when one of the main rebel outfits–the Front for Change & Concord in Chad (FACT)–walked out amid confusion over Doha’s role as a mediator. Chad was plunged into uncertainty last April when long-time ruler Idriss Déby was killed while commanding troops combating a FACT offensive. Power was then seized by Déby’s 38-year-old son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, who outlined an 18-month transition. The Doha talks are considered a precursor to a national dialogue that the younger Déby is organizing before planned elections. But in a country that has experienced decades of rebellion and state repression, things are unlikely to proceed smoothly. Just last month a phone conversation surfaced in which Timan Erdimi—head of the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR), one of the rebel groups present in Doha—discussed plans to oust Déby using the Kremlin-linked mercenary Wagner Group. (The New Humanitarian)

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