France and other regional allies have declared support for the new Chadian interim leader, General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, also known as Mahamat Kaka who was named as his late father’s successor following his unfortunate death on the battlefield.
Even though his takeover was deemed by critics as a coup, as it violates the national constitution which defines transitional proceedings in such situations, General Mahamat, who until now, commanded a top-notch Republican guard promised to release power after 18 months period.
His decision was strongly backed by allies as French President, Emmanuel Macron stated during a ceremony held to bid farewell to the deceased veteran ruler, Idriss Deby that, “France will never let anyone, either today or tomorrow, challenge Chad’s stability and integrity.”
Apart from France, other regional allies such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Niger rendered support for Deby’s son as authorities from these coubtries together with Macron jointly met earlier with General Mahamat prior to the event.
Why does Chad seem to be of so much interest to France? The North-Central African country, which is strategically positioned in between Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Sudan serves as an outpost for France and the USA in the fight against insurgents in the entire region.
Currently, French military influence in the region has grown drastically as about 5,100 French soldiers were deployed across the region. In this view, the stability of Chad is needed for the sustenance of such operations.
This was highlighted by Macron that, “France is also there to sustain the promise of a peaceful Chad,” whilst urging the new caretaker military government headed by General Mahamt to foster “stability, inclusion, dialogue, democratic transition.”