Outrage In Chad Over Dwindling Economy, Authoritarian Government of President Idriss Deby

By Ikenga Chronicles November 20, 2016

Outrage In Chad Over Dwindling Economy, Authoritarian Government of President Idriss Deby

There is general discontent in Chad as civil societies and opposition plan to cripple the authoritarian regime of President Idriss Deby, through general strike on Tuesday.

This is necessitated by the cost of fighting Boko Haram Islamists, plunging oil revenues, deficits, austerity measures and strikes by civil servants which have all stirred popular anger in a country with high poverty levels despite its oil reserves.

“Chad has ground to a halt. We fear the worst,” said Maoundoe Decladore, a spokesman for the civil society organisation “Ca doit changer” (“Things must change”).

“I spend a whole day with barely 1,000 francs (1.50 euros) in takings. There’s no money. People are not coming,” said Fatime Zara, a vegetable seller in her forties.

Teachers have been on strike since September to demand payment of wage arrears.

“All the money from oil has been diverted to the people in power,” said Michel Issa, a school teacher, echoing complaints from civil society and the opposition about Deby, who came to power in 1990, and his government.

The crisis has meant students have not returned to schools, colleges and universities after the summer holidays.

Other sectors have also been hit such as health, forcing patients to seek treatment in neighbouring Cameroon, and justice. Deby met with judges on Friday to try and end their strike.

The situation is worse outside the capital of the vast nation of 10 million people, where more than one in three children under the age of five suffer stunted growth.

The political opposition, riding the wave of popular discontent, is demanding “inclusive dialogue” with the regime while contesting the re-election

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