News

Chad's Deby Wins Boycotted Election

Chad's embattled President Idriss Deby, who faces a surging rebellion on several fronts, has been officially certified as the winner of his country's latest presidential election with over 77 percent of the vote.  Western diplomats say the vote was far from free and fair, and few Chadians appeared to take part.

The vote came as Chad, a new oil producer, also had problems with international lenders who helped pay for an oil pipeline.  Chad's government watered down a law ensuring some oil profits would go to alleviate poverty, prompting the World Bank to temporarily cut aid and freeze overseas bank accounts.  More on the election from VOA's Nico Colombant.

During the campaign, there seemed to be just one candidate:  Idriss Deby. He actually ran against several handpicked opponents, but the opposition boycotted the process.

Anything that looked like a rally was for Mr. Deby: Youth groups and women's associations, all paid for by the government, took to the streets throughout the campaign.

One woman's hat reads that she is against what she calls Sudanese Barbarians.

Mr. Deby accuses Sudan's government of being behind several rebel movements trying to topple him.

Some of the rebels are allied with Janjaweed militias fighting in Sudan's Darfur region, while other Chadian rebels are allied with Darfurian rebels.  Their allies are fighting against each other in Darfur, but in Chad, the common goal is to get rid of Mr. Deby. 

During a speech in the central town of Mongo, Mr. Deby promised to defend Chad against what he calls the aggression coming from Sudan. Speaking in Arabic he also promised electricity, roads, schools and hospitals.

Rebels actually passed through here in April on their way to the capital N'djamena before being pushed back.

At every campaign stop, there was intense security -- on voting day, there seemed to be more military and security for the president than actual voters.

There was also obvious cheating.

This woman, noticeable with her panther-printed clothing, had voted just after Mr. Deby -- in front of journalists -- then came to vote at another polling center 30 minutes later.

Mariama, a militant of the ruling MPS party, refused to admit she voted twice. "Everyone in N'Djamena votes for democracy, for peace, for Deby, because they do not want any problems, but only peace for the country."

Many Chadians, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were disillusioned with Mr. Deby's rule. Outside the city center, polling centers were mostly empty.

It is three o'clock in the afternoon, and at one bureau very few people have voted. Officials say voter turnout was 60 percent, but few people believe this..

At a news conference following the vote, when a journalist asked why polling centers had been so deserted, MPS secretary general Mahamet Hissein objected. "People are used to voting.  But this is the hottest time of the year, so people don't want to wait in line."

The parliament was attacked in mid-April.  Rebels actually thought it was the presidency. 

Mr. Deby says he was waiting for rebels, in his words, with croissants and coffee. Mr. Deby actually got the help of French forces stationed in Chad, who informed him of the rebel advance. 

Hundreds were killed in the fighting, and rebels fled back to their bases along the border with Sudan, leaving the scene of fighting deserted. They vowed to return and attack the right building.

Now that Mr. Deby has won a new term, many residents believe the rebels will carry out their threat, while N'djamena remains enveloped in an eerie desert calm.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs