On Saturday, May 14, hundreds of Chadians participated in anti-French protests organised by the opposition group Wakit Tama.
Protesters are against France’s military involvement in the country and support for interim President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who has been in office since his father died in 2021.
They are said to have targeted “symbols” of their old colonial power, including several Total gas stations.
Students dominated the rally, with many riding motorcycles and screaming “France get out.”
Idriss Déby Itno, the former president, commanded an authoritarian rule for 30 years before being slain in battle on April 20, 2021, during a rebellion in the country’s north.
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
Hundreds of protestors flocked to the streets of the capital and neighbouring towns in an anti-French rally that saw the destruction of some French-linked shops. Chadian police shot tear gas and used water cannon to disperse them.
According to a representative for Chadian civil society alliance Wakit Tamma, the rally was called to criticise France’s support for the Transitional Military Council, which seized power following the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021.
As France’s authority in its former colonies fades, recent protests in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger have called for stronger military ties with Russia rather than France.