Chad Amnesties Hundreds Of Rebels, Dissidents

Chad amnesties hundreds of rebels, dissidents

Chad's military-led government on Monday decreed a "general amnesty" for nearly 300 rebels and political dissidents, meeting a key demand by opposition groups invited to join a forum on the country's future

N'Djamena, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 29th Nov, 2021 ) :Chad's military-led government on Monday decreed a "general amnesty" for nearly 300 rebels and political dissidents, meeting a key demand by opposition groups invited to join a forum on the country's future.

The amnesty will apply to 296 individuals sentenced for offences including "crimes of opinion", "terrorism" and "harming the integrity of the state," according to a ruling by the Council of Ministers received by AFP.

The measure does not necessarily mean a release from jail as it applies to some opponents who have been sentenced and live in exile.

Rebel groups have said the amnesty is a pre-condition to joining a round table launched by President Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, 37, who took the reins after his father Idriss Deby Itno was killed fighting insurgents in April.

On taking office, the younger Deby dismissed the government, dissolved parliament and repealed the constitution, promising to stage "free and transparent" elections within 18 months.

In August, he offered to launch a dialogue with rebel groups.

After contacts in Qatar's capital Doha and Paris, the rebels set down preconditions, including "the release of prisoners of war, a general amnesty for all political-military figures, and the return of rebel property seized by the government.

" The decree issued Monday said it was "indispensable to sweep away the remnants handed down from the dark periods of our times, by granting a general amnesty to those who, for one reason or another, chose the path of exile and/or violence to express their political divergences." The amnesty concerns 39 people sentenced for harming state integrity or crimes of opinion.

It also concerns 257 members of armed groups who were jailed after an attempt by the rebel coalition, the Union of Resistance Forces (UFR) to overthrow Deby senior in 2019.

A former French colony in the heart of central-northern Africa, Chad has a long history of volatility.

The older Deby, like his son a career military officer, seized power in 1990.

He governed the country with an iron fist for 30 years, staying in power after being repeatedly returned in elections that opponents condemned as flawed or rigged.

Relying on air support from his ally France, he thwarted attempts by rebel groups crossing from Libya or Sudan to advance on the capital N'Djamena.