Chad FM resigns over disagreements with ruling military government | Political news

Mahamat Zene Cherif accuses the government in power of excluding him from the dialogue process aimed at paving the way for elections.

Chad’s acting foreign minister, Mahamat Zene Cherif, said he was resigning over disagreements with the ruling military government as it tried to open dialogue with the rebels and end military rule.

Cherif’s resignation came on Monday as talks initiated by the head of government, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, are taking place in Qatar’s capital Doha with various rebel and opposition groups. The talks aim to pave the way for elections after the army seized power last year.

“For several months, my commitment and my desire to serve my country have been thwarted by parallel initiatives and actions by certain members of your cabinet and the government, undertaken without my knowledge and on your instructions,” Cherif said in a letter to the president which was posted on his Twitter account.

The 58-year-old did not refer directly to the talks, but said the situation had stripped his department of its prerogatives and kept it in a “mere background role”.

The talks, which began on August 20 after repeated delays, are boycotted by many opposition parties, rebels and civil society groups.

Chad’s transitional authorities last month signed a peace pact with more than 30 rebel and opposition factions in which they agreed to join in a national dialogue after years of unrest.

The vast central African country has been under military rule since President Idriss Deby – the father of the current de facto leader, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno – was killed on a battlefield in April 2021 while he was visiting troops fighting the rebels, shortly after winning an election extending his 30 year rule.

The military installed his son as interim president and he began talks with rebel groups that had long challenged his father’s rule.

He leads a military council that said it would oversee an 18-month transition to civilian rule, but showed little intention of meeting the deadline.

Regional and international powers are pushing for a quick return to democracy in Chad, which has long been a Western ally against armed group fighters.

Cherif was appointed foreign minister in the transitional government in May 2021.

Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world, has suffered repeated uprisings and unrest since its independence from France in 1960.

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