Hundreds stage anti-French protest in West African nation of Chad
Hundreds of people in Chad joined anti-French protests to oppose the former colonial power’s military presence in the West African country.
Chadian police fired tear gas and used water canon to disperse the protesters who took to the streets of the capital and other towns that saw the destruction of some French-linked businesses.
Protesters also expressed support for transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, who has been in power since his father’s death in 2021.
The protest was mainly attended by students with many on motocycles and chanting “France get out”.
"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” protester Souleyman Tahir said.
Former president, Idriss Déby Itno, headed an authoritarian regime for 30 years and was killed in battle on April 20, 2021, during a rebellion in the north of the country.
The protest was called by Chadian civil society coalition Wakit Tamma to denounce France's backing of the Transitional Military Council that seized power following the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021, a spokesman said.
As France's influence wanes in its former colonies, recent protests in countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger have seen calls for France’s military withdrawal from their nations.
Observers accuse France of pursuing neo-colonialism in Africa, falsely claiming to fight terrorism as a pretext to maintain its influence in the region.