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Buhari seeks support for peaceful transition in chad

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This handout image received from the State House in Nigeria on May 14, 2021, shows Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) receiving Chadian President of the Transitional Council Lt. General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno (L) at State House in Abuja. (Photo by Sunday Aghaeze / STATE HOUSE NIGERIA / AFP)

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, in Abuja called on the international community to support Chad to conclude the transition from military to democratic government in a peaceful manner within the set time of 18 months.

He spoke at the opening of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) convened to discuss the recent developments in Chad after President Idris Deby Itno died on the frontline while defending the territorial integrity of his country.

Buhari, who declared the one-day summit open in his capacity as the chair of leaders of LCBC member-countries, rallied development partners and countries, particularly France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Russia as well as United Nations, African Union and the European Union to support the transition framework put in place by Chad’s Transition Military Council led by General Mahamat Idris Deby.

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‘’The need to support the Chadian government to effectively carry out its planned 18-month transition is sacrosanct.

‘’However, it must be stated that the sanctity of the Chadian constitution as the supreme guiding document defining the social contract in the country must be respected.

‘’The transition period should be civilian-led, with requisite powers given to the constitutionally mandated organs of government saddled with the responsibility of administering the country,’’ President Buhari said.

At the in-person meeting attended by the Presidents of Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and a representative of the President of Cameroon, Buhari said the death of Itno had direct implications for the continued peace and stability of Chad as a nation, the Lake Chad region and the wider Sahel Region

‘’Our region is faced with difficult, several challenges that need the support and engagement of all to overcome.

‘’While transnational crimes and rebellion cutting across our region continue to evolve in scope, the attendant conflicts also continue to retain their distinct form of inflicting untold hardship and difficulty on the lives of our citizens.

‘’The threats by the Chadian rebel groups, who are clamouring to overthrow the government, must be viewed with all the seriousness they deserve because the consequences of a destabilised Chad to the sub-region cannot be imagined.

‘’The flow of refugees and displaced persons from the country, unrestrained flow of arms, drugs and other harmful substances into Lake Chad and Sahel Regions, which are already challenged by terrorists seeking to establish parallel systems, would further compound the security and stability of our areas and neighbouring countries.

‘’It is, therefore, our collective duty and in honour of the memory of the men and women that have died in search of peace in the region, to rise in unison as leaders of the region to ensure that peace, stability and security are not disrupted in Chad and in the entire region.”

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