For the sake of Africa, Chad must seize this rare chance for ...

Ideas

For the sake of Africa, Chad must seize this rare chance for democracy

The death of president Idriss Déby is an opportunity to establish a transitional government of national unity

Columnist

Following the death of Chad’s president Idriss Déby who ruled his country with an iron-fist for 30 years, the country is likely to fall into chaos, which is often the case in postcolonial African countries following the end of autocratic rule.

Déby, 68, died last Monday from wounds suffered as he directed the government’s battle against rebels who had marched south across the Sahara from their Libyan outposts. Déby took power in a military coup in 1990, when he deposed the previous dictator, Hissène Habré.

Typically for African dictators at the end of the Cold War, he introduced multiparty elections, with the opposition being brutally suppressed, civil society banned and the media heavily regulated, to put a democratic veneer on his dictatorial rule...

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