Military vehicles, tanks and armored vehicles spread in the streets of the Chadian capital following confrontations at the headquarters of the Socialist Party (Reuters)

Violent confrontations broke out between the Chadian security forces and those loyal to the "Socialist Party Without Borders", which is headed by the most prominent opposition figure, Yahya Dilou, a cousin of the transitional president of Chad, General Mohamed Idriss Deby, who defected from him.

The story goes back to the security authorities arresting a party official named “Ahmed Al-Turabi,” where a force affiliated with the Socialist Party attacked the Internal Security headquarters where Al-Turabi was being held, and killed a number of officers and soldiers.

In turn, a huge force of security services attacked the headquarters of the Socialist Party last Wednesday evening, located in the "Klimat" area of ​​the capital, N'Djamena, to arrest Yahya Dilou, where he was holed up. Violent confrontations took place between the two parties, resulting in a number of deaths, including the party's leader, Dilou, and 10 people were injured. According to statements by the Chadian government.

The security authorities arrested 26 people loyal to the party in the operation after violent fighting took place between the two sides.

What are the causes of stress?

The Chadian government accuses Ahmed Al-Turabi, the financial official of the Socialist Party, of being behind the assassination attempt on the president of the Supreme Court, Samir Adam Al-Nour, and detained him on charges. Here, the Socialist Party tried to deal with the situation with military force, which led to bloody confrontations.

General Mohamed Idriss Deby has assumed the position of interim president of Chad since the killing of his father in 2020 (French)

What is the story of the Socialist Party?

The Socialist Party denies the allegations of the official authorities, saying, according to its statement to Reuters, that the security services killed Ahmed Al-Turabi last Tuesday and placed his body at the headquarters of the Internal Security Service. When party members went to search for his body, soldiers opened fire on a group of party members.

The party's leader, Yahya Dilo, had previously stated that the alleged attack on the Supreme Court was planned, noting that "the Supreme Court enjoys the protection of at least 3 gendarmerie companies."

What the government claims about Al-Turabi’s involvement in the attempt is “a complete lie.”

What is the nature of the situation in the Chadian capital?

Tension prevails in N'Djamena despite the Chadian authorities' statements that they have regained control of the situation. The headquarters of the Socialist Party is still besieged, and military vehicles, tanks and armored vehicles are deployed in the streets of the capital.

The authorities closed the city center with an almost complete interruption of communications and Internet service.

Some Chadian newspapers reported the arrest of the uncle of the interim president, Salah Déby, who recently joined the Socialist Party. The events have not yet spread beyond the capital, where a state of emergency was declared, to other regions.

Is it an isolated incident?

The leader of the Socialist Party, Yahya Dilou, remained a fierce opponent of President Déby Sr., and in 2021, the security authorities raided his house in an attempt to arrest him, but he escaped while his mother was killed in the attack on his house, and thus it is an extension of an old conflict with Déby’s authority.

Many Chadian sources speak of a conflict within the Zaghawa tribe, which has controlled power since 1990, and that there has been discontent within the family since the death of Déby Sr. The late Yahya Dilo began attracting important parties within the Zaghawa who are close to the transitional president, which poses a threat to his future in power.

What is the relationship of the event to the upcoming elections?

It is not a coincidence that the situation exploded in the way it did, the day after the Supreme Elections Committee announced the date of the elections on May 6, 2024, according to opponents.

The National Rescue Movement Party recently announced the transitional president as the party's candidate, in light of the Chadian opposition's refusal to nominate the occupants of sovereign positions in the constitutional elections.

For the Chadian opposition, Dilo is a strong competitor to Deby and represents an obstacle to arranging its internal government in the upcoming elections.

In the same context, the transitional government in Chad dismissed the prominent human rights defender, Mohamed Nour Ahmed Hebdoa, from his position as head of the National Human Rights Commission, which many reports considered a blow to Chad at a critical time when it is preparing for elections.

Ebdo had published through the committee a report on the protests that took place in October 2022, in what was known to Chadians as “Black Thursday.” The committee’s report condemned government agencies for using disproportionate means to suppress the protests, which the opposition considered a dismissal of the same. Political motives directly related to the upcoming elections.

The Chadian army spokesman announces in 2021 Mohamed Déby as head of the ruling transitional military council after the killing of his father (Anatolia)

Are there other parties to the conflict?

No official statements have been issued by any external party yet regarding what is happening in N'Djamena, including France, which transferred its soldiers withdrawing from Niger to its three bases in Chad. According to previous intervention experiences, Paris does not intervene except at the critical moment or at the request of the authorities. According to the opinion of some observers.

What are the most prominent scene scenarios?

According to the "Chad One" agency, the situation is still ambiguous, and according to the agency, lists of names of former ministers and senior officials wanted to be arrested, "alive or dead," were distributed to special forces affiliated with the National Security Agency (Chad's intelligence service).

In the face of a scene like this, it is difficult to predict the outcome and developments of the situation. In a statement by a politician who declined to publish his name, he said that the main problem is that the conflict is taking place within the ruling family and that the relatives of the leader of the Socialist Party and members of his party will not remain silent about what happened to them.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, the Chadian politician expects the situation to become tense again after the completion of the funeral ceremony for Yahya Dilo. However, if the transitional president and his agencies are able to suppress and silence the Socialist Party, fears of retracting the transition are strong, which could lead the country to more tension. And perhaps external interference as well.

Source: Al Jazeera