Hundreds of protesters in Chad hold anti-French rally in African nation
Chadian police have fired tear gas and used water canon to disperse hundreds of protesters who held anti-French demonstrations in the capital and other towns.
The event organised by Chadian civil society coalition Wakit Tamma aimed to denounce France's backing of the Transitional Military Council that seized power following the battlefield death of President Idriss Deby in April 2021, according to a spokesman.
"France installing dictators on our heads. We only ask that our people be respected," Max Loalngar, a Wakit Tamma coordinator, told AFP.
Deby's son Mahamat Idriss, who is leading the military transition after his father, also promised free elections this year.
The government later issued a statement saying, "Chad's problems should remain strictly national ones and should be debated among Chadians."
It invited "all Chadians to join the inclusive dialogue process" paving the way for "free and democratic elections" following an 18-month transition period.
"We are demonstrating against France for its support for the transitional military council," said Mahmoud Moussa, a high school teacher in the Chadian capital who joined the protest.
According to an AFP journalist report, demonstrators in N'Djamena burned at least two French flags and vandalized several petrol stations belonging to the French oil giant Total.
France has been one of the world’s colonizing countries that after many years of slavery still controls countries spread over more than 12 territories and treats their people as second-class citizens.
It has had more than 50 military interventions in Africa since 1960, when many of its former colonies gained nominal independence.
France currently has 5,100 troops in the arid and volatile Sahel region. Under a new plan, they will be reduced to 2,500-3,000 troops.
Analysts say it is premature to call it the end of France's military intervention in Africa, believing Paris is only readjusting its post-colonial plans.