The protests turned out to be deadly as thousands protested in Chad against the regime of a transitional military council headed by the son of late President Idriss Deby, who was killed last week by rebels.
The military-led government said Wednesday that at least five people had died in the protests, but a local NGO reported nine dead – seven in the capital and two in the south. According to the Chadian Convention for the Defense of Human Rights, 36 people were also injured and 12 arrested.
The opposition coalition called for protests despite the ban on protests. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters in Chad’s capital N’Djamena, and protests were also held in other parts of the country.
Protesters carried placards demanding that power be handed over to civilians. Protesters also ransacked a gas station and burned tires throughout N’Djamena.
The Chadian army announced on April 20 that Deby was fatally wounded during a visit to troops north of the capital, who were fighting an anti-Deby rebel group. The announcement of his death came just hours after he was confirmed the winner of the presidential elections held earlier in April.
The military then appointed a council to lead an 18-month transition to new elections, putting Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, 37, in charge of Chad in the first change of power in more than three decades.
The appointment of the youngest Deby sparked an immediate outcry from the Chadian political opposition and rebel forces accused of the murder of his father. The rebels threatened to attack the capital after the military government said it would not negotiate with them.