Chad government foils coup attempt: minister

Wed May 1, 2013 8:53pm EDT

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N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Security forces in Chad foiled a coup against the government of President Idriss Deby that had been in preparation for several months, the West African desert nation's communications minister announced late on Wednesday.

"Today, May 1, a group of individuals with bad intentions sought to carry out an action to destabilize the institutions of the republic," Hassan Sylla Bakary read in a statement broadcast on state-owned television.

"They did not count on the valiant security forces who have tracked them since December 2012 and who, this morning, neutralized them," he said.

The impoverished former French colony has a long history of coups and rebellions, and Deby himself led rebel troops into the capital N'Djamena in 1990 to seize power.

He has since won four elections and cast himself as a key ally of the West against al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters across the vast, arid Sahel region.

Bakary said the suspected plotters had been handed over to the state prosecutor. However he did not reveal their identities or give further details of the plot.

Chad's security services carried out a number of arrests within the ranks of the army on Wednesday, military sources told Reuters. And at least one member of parliament, an opposition figure named Saleh Maki, was also detained, according to his family.

Deby deployed around 2,000 troops to Mali earlier this year to help drive out Islamist fighters who had seized the northern two-thirds of the country, earning him the gratitude of France which spearheaded the operation there.

However, the president has plenty of enemies both at home and abroad.

The UFR, a Chadian rebel coalition that laid down its weapons in 2010, warned in March that they would relaunch their rebellion after Deby failed to enter talks with them.

Last week, Deby accused neighboring Libya of allowing Chadian mercenaries to set up a training camp from where they could seek to destabilize his country, a charge Libyan authorities rejected.

(Reporting by Madjiasra Nako; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Walsh)

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Comments (1)
I think constitutional monarchies would benefit the development of many countries in Africa.
They way I see it there is a need for a non party political international representation of many African countries. A Constitutional monarchy (or limited monarchy) is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the guidelines of a constitution.
This form of government differs from absolute monarchy in which an absolute monarch serves as the source of power in the state and is not legally bound by any constitution and has the powers to regulate his or her respective government. Most constitutional monarchies employ a parliamentary system in which the monarch may have strictly ceremonial duties or may have reserve powers, depending on the constitution. For development It is important with a sense of continuity, independent of what political party is elected. A constitutional monarch could serve that purposes of continuity, and also be able to act as an international non political ambassador for the country.
I believe this would benefit trade, commerce and investment for many African countries. Also the monarch in his ceremonial duties would be able to create a sense of national belonging for the people, and act as a unifying symbol above party politics.

HSH Prince Leopold Donchield Zu Leone II, Sierra Leone

May 01, 2013 10:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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