Chad and rebels sign peace deal in Qatar ahead of national dialogue

Chad's transitional authorities and rebel groups signed a peace agreement in Doha on Monday (August 8) ahead of a broad national reconciliation dialog to take place later this month.

A signing ceremony for the agreement, which included the parties agreeing to take part in a national, inclusive dialog, was attended by more than 30 rebel groups and followed months of talks in the Qatari capital.

Details, such as how the deal will be implemented and how adherence to it will be monitored, were not immediately released.

Mahamat Zene Cherif, the interim military government's foreign minister, told reporters he believed the agreement would lead to sustainable peace in Chad.

The national dialog is meant to include a wide range of groups and parties as well as the government and the rebels.

"Most of the armed groups signed this agreement and they will take part in the national dialog. And this national, inclusive dialog is a forum for all Chadian people," he said, brushing off concerns that not all groups had signed up to the deal.

A source familiar with the agreement said those who had signed had agreed to a permanent ceasefire and to work towards civilian disarmament.

Chad's interim military government had also committed to not launching military or police operations in neighboring countries against groups who had signed up to the deal, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The interim military government is headed by Mahamat Idriss Deby, who last year seized power following his father's death.

Deby declared himself head of a Transitional Military Council in April 2021 after his father, longtime ruler Idriss Deby, was killed while visiting troops fighting the rebel insurgency in the north.

Initially, his council said it would oversee an 18-month transition to democratic rule, but it has shown little sign of organizing elections as that deadline has neared.

Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, speaking at the signing, called on groups that had not signed to join the agreement.

Wealthy Gulf state Qatar, an ally of the United States, facilitated the negotiations.

(Source: Reuters)

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