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Chad fighting: Heavy gunfire in N’Djamena after attack on security HQ

Wednesday -Feb-28-2024-{HMC}  Heavy gunfire has been heard in Chad’s capital N’Djamena following a deadly attack on the headquarters of the National Security Agency.

Several people were killed in the attack, the government says, blaming an opposition party.

Internet connectivity has been disrupted in the country, according to internet watchdog Netblocks.

This comes hours after the announcement that Chad will hold presidential elections on 6 May.

“Anyone looking to disturb the democratic process under way in the country will be prosecuted and brought to justice,” the government said on Wednesday in a statement quoted by news agency AFP.

The government said members of the opposition Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF) have been arrested over the attack on the National Security Agency (ANSE) and will be prosecuted.

Communication Minister Abderaman Koulamallah said the attack was led by PSF leader Yaya Dillo. He has not yet commented.

N’Djamena residents reported hearing intense gunfire near the PSF headquarters on Wednesday. They also reported seeing several military vehicles heading there.

It is not clear if Mr Dillo was among those arrested, but in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning, he said the military had come for him at his party headquarters.

The government also said the PSF was involved in a recent “assassination attempt” on the president of the Supreme Court.

Mr Dillo denied any links to that attack, which he described as “staged” according to AFP.

Mr Dillo is a vocal opponent of President Mahamat Déby and is also his cousin. Mr Déby came into power in 2021 after his father was killed by rebels after three decades in power.

 

President Déby promised to return the country to civilian rule – but delayed it for more than two years.

The election is supposed to mark the end of the political transition.

The Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS) designated President Déby, as its candidate for the upcoming elections, but he is yet to openly comment whether he’ll run.

Former colonial France has been backing Mr Déby since the start of the transition, raising eyebrows both in and out of the country. France currently has about 1,000 troops in Chad to fight jihadist groups across West Africa.

The opposition says the electoral commission is far from neutral and it fears an extension of the Déby dynasty.

SOURCE BBC

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