The coup plot reported Wednesday by Chad’s security forces underscores growing political tensions in the country – and could disrupt humanitarian operations for Darfur refugees. So says Suliman Baldo, Africa program director for the International Crisis Group.
From New York, Baldo spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the reported coup plot: “This is just one new phase in a trend of continued deterioration in the political scene in Chad. It follows masses of defections within the inner circles of power in N’djamena, capital of Chad. It follows months of successive desertions from the Chadian army to join the platform for Democracy and Change in Sudan (SCUD), a group of deserters who are bent on toppling the government of President Idriss Deby, and who are now accused of being behind this failed coup attempt.”
The situation, he says, is related to Chad’s relations with Sudan: “It’s clear that Sudan now is backing armed groups that are opposed to the regime of President Idriss Deby. And these armed groups have a plan to prevent Deby from presenting himself again for the presidency in elections that are scheduled for May. And that’s why I expect that we’ll be seeing more of these developments of instability in Chad in the coming weeks.”
The ICG official says it could directly affect humanitarian operations in Chad for Darfur refugees and displaced Sudanese in Darfur itself. That’s because civilians could be caught in between fighting between supporters and opponents of Deby.