In a recent development, a group of 380 rebels who were sentenced to life imprisonment for the death of former ruler Idriss Deby Itno have been pardoned by president of Chad, according to a statement from the president’s office. The rebels were accused of killing Chad’s former president Idriss Déby Itno on April 20, 2021, just days after he was re-elected for a sixth term as president. The rebels were convicted of terrorism, using child soldiers, and undermining Chad’s integrity and security.
The trial of the rebels opened in February 2023 behind closed doors at Klessoum prison, which is located 20 kilometers southeast of the capital N’djamena. However, the appeals court ruled on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, that over 400 rebels were guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment.
Idriss Déby Itno was a long-serving military officer and president of Chad from 1990 until his death. He belonged to the Bidayat clan of the Zaghawa ethnic group, which occupies the majority of posts in the transitional military council. Leadership of the council was seized by Déby’s adopted son Mahamat Idriss Déby, who is also of the Zaghawa ethnic group.
This latest development of pardoning the 380 rebels is sure to have significant political implications. It remains to be seen what the reaction of the Chadian people will be to this news. The decision by the president’s office to pardon these rebels may be seen as a move towards reconciliation, but it could also be interpreted as a sign of weakness by some factions.
Furthermore, it raises questions about the effectiveness of Chad’s justice system and whether the rule of law is being upheld. The fact that the trial was held behind closed doors is also concerning, as it raises the possibility of lack of transparency and accountability.
Overall, this is a significant development in the ongoing political situation in Chad, and it will be interesting to see how the situation unfolds in the coming days and weeks.