2006 Chadian coup d'état attempt
The coup involved members of the Chadian military, led by brothers Tom and Timane Erdimi, two high-ranking officers who had tried to overthrow Déby in 2004, and former General Seby Aguid. Minister of Communications and Culture, and Spokesperson for the Government Hourmadji Moussa Doumngor said that the Erdimi brothers were captured, while other rebel soldiers fled. Security Minister Routouang Yoma Golom told reporters, "There are around 100 members of the military implicated in this coup who have been arrested. They will be brought to trial. ... The situation is totally under control and calm has returned. The head of state has personally gone several times to military camps to restore order." Golom said a military court will sentence them over the next one to two months while other plotters are sought in eastern Chad.
"People close to the Erdimi twins and General Seby Aguid wanted to take advantage of President Deby's absence while he was in Equatorial Guinea, to undermine the institutions of the republic," said a source close to Deby who asked to remain anonymous.
According to Doumngor, the rebel soldiers fled in seven vehicles after soldiers loyal to the President foiled their attempt. Two of the vehicles were stopped and "their occupants neutralized". The remaining vehicles fled into the eastern part of the country while pursued by Chadian forces. Doumngor also stated that those who organised the coup were former military or civilian government officials living in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Sudan, and the United States.
There were also reports that on March 14 and March 15 N'Djamena’s two mobile phone networks were shut down. The government usually interferes with communications during security operations. Chadian rebels said that they would attempt to block the May 3 election. Doumgor responded in saying the elections will not be postponed.
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French Foreign Ministry spokesman Jean-Baptiste Mattei said the French were "following the situation with the greatest vigilance, given that Chad is going through a difficult situation because of the Darfur crisis."
Yaya Dillo Djérou, member of Platform for Change, Unity and Democracy, a subgroup of the UFDC, said the UFDC had tried to "smoke out the president from N'Djamena, but our plan was declared by some secret agents and then our people had to cancel the plan and get out of the town." Djérou was speaking in eastern Chad.
Suliman Baldo, Africa program director of the International Crisis Group think tank, said that "the calendar is really driving events ... the armed groups bent on toppling him don't want him to get to the elections."
The African Union issued a statement: "The President of the Commission of the African Union (AU) has strongly condemned the attempted coup d'état that has taken place in N'Djamena, Chad, in the night between March 14 and March 15, 2006. Conformly to the Algiers Decision of July 1999 and the Lomé Declaration of July 2000 on changes of government by unconstitutional means, the President of the Commission has reiterated the AU's opposition to all taking power by violent means. The President of the Commission has launched an appeal to Chadian politicians so that they use dialogue to sort out their differences and promote the democratic process in their country."
Reassurances by Déby
- Chadian coup of 1975
- Chadian-Sudanese conflict
- Government of Chad
- History of Chad
- United Front for Democratic Change
- Betel Miarom, "Chad detains dozens after coup attempt", Reuters (IOL), March 21, 2006.
- "Chad security forces foil coup bid against Deby". Agence France-Presse via Yahoo! News. 15 March 2006.[dead link]
- Dany Danzoumbe, "Coup attempt foiled in Chad - officials", Reuters (IOL), March 16, 2006.
- "Troops reportedly stop coup attempt". Chicago Tribune. 16 March 2006.[dead link]
- "Chad rebels say will try to block May elections". Reuters. 16 March 2006. Archived from the original on 17 March 2006.
- "Idriss Deby tells Kadhafi calm returns to Chad". AngolaPress. 18 March 2006.