N’Djamena, Chad, April 27 – A woman was killed by demonstrators in the Chadian capital Tuesday as crowds protested the newly-installed junta, despite the military’s call to ban the gatherings.
Police were out in the streets of N’Djamena Tuesday to break up planned demonstrations against the so-called Transitional Military Council (TMC), which took control of the government after the shock death of president Idriss Deby Itno.
His 37-year-old son Mahamat now leads the council, and has pledged to hold elections in 18 months.
A woman died Tuesday when anti-junta protesters attacked a bus in N’Djamena, a prosecutor told AFP.
“The demonstrators attacked a bus in the Dembe district, some passengers fled but a woman remained and was killed by the protesters,” N’Djamena prosecutor Youssouf Tom told AFP.
Separately, a man died in protests in the southern city of Mondou, some 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of the capital N’Dajemena.
“We do not yet have the exact circumstances of the death, he is a young man of 21,” prosecutor Ali Kolla Brahim told AFP.
Opposition and civil society organisations had called for demonstrations Tuesday, branding the accession of Deby’s son as head of the military council an “institutional coup”.
The TMC had banned protests planned for Tuesday, saying they were “likely to disturb public order”.
Despite the order, several dozen people gathered in the capital N’Djamena on Tuesday to protest the council, burning tyres in the streets.
– ‘Fed up’ –
Police were swift to break up any gatherings, and the sounds of tear gas canisters being fired could be heard, according to an AFP journalist.
“We are fed up, fed up, fed up with the monarchical dynasty in Chad,” one protester, Sarah, told AFP, referring to the Deby family rule.
Behind her, a crowd ran in the streets shouting “police, police”, as security forces approached in a vehicle.
Chad’s long-time ruler Deby died this month after he was injured on the frontlines in the country’s north, where the army has been fighting Libya-based rebels.
The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebels have said they are prepared to observe a ceasefire, but Chad’s military says they remain at war.
The younger Deby swiftly took over after his father’s death, vowing to eventually hold elections.
On Monday, the military junta appointed Albert Pahimi Padacke as transitional prime minister, who called for a nationwide effort to speed the return to civilian rule.
The elder Deby came to power in 1990 at the head of a rebel force that rolled in from neighbouring Sudan.
He was buried last Friday in a state funeral attended by French President Emmanuel Macron.