Lol Mahamat Choua
|Lol Mahamat Choua|
|5th President of Chad|
April 29, 1979 – August 21, 1979
|Preceded by||Goukouni Oueddei|
|Succeeded by||Goukouni Oueddei|
|Born||1939 (age 76–77)
|Political party||Rally for Democracy and Progress|
Lol Mahamat Choua (born 1939) is a Chadian politician who served as his country's head of state for four months in 1979. He is the President of the Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) political party.
An adherent of Islam and a member of the Kanembu ethnic group, Choua came into power during the First Chadian Civil War. The Popular Movement for the Liberation of Chad (MPLT), a Kanembu rebel group backed by Nigeria, along with the central government, the Armed Forces of the North (FAN) and the People's Armed Forces (FAP) were the main combatants. When a peace conference was organized in Kano, Nigeria, the MPLT, which suffered from a lack of members, chose Lol to head its delegation to meeting.
Under Nigerian pressure, Lol was made head of the Transitional Government of National Unity on April 29, 1979, by the four factions present at Kano I. The GUNT included 21 ministers, of whom 11 were northerners and 10 were southerners. Goukouni Oueddei, head of the FAP, became Interior Minister, Hissène Habré became Defence Minister, and Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué, leader of the Chadian Armed Forces (FAT), became vice-president. But the transitional government excluded all the pro-Libyan forces; as a result, a rival government, backed by Muammar al-Gaddafi, was formed; it was called the Democratic Revolutionary Council, and it was headed by Ahmat Acyl, an Arab.
The problem of the rival government, and the transitional government's resistance to Nigerian influence, led to two new peace conferences, this time in Lagos, Nigeria. On August 21, an agreement between all factions, those of the CDR included, was signed; it became known as the Lagos Accord. The accord brought to the replacement of Choua with Goukouni as head of the transitional government, an act that was accomplished on September 3.
Choua served as minister in Habré's government, starting in 1982. Idriss Déby overthrew Habré in 1990, and when he legalized opposition parties in 1992, one of them was Choua's Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP), based mainly in Kanem Region. From January 15, 1993 to April 7, 1993, the Sovereign National Conference, which initiated the transition to multiparty elections, was held. Among the decisions of the conference was to form a transitional legislative body, the Higher Transitional Council (Conseil supérieur de la transition, or CST), composed of 57 members, which had Choua as its president. Choua served as President of the CST until he came into conflict with Déby, and as a result the CST replaced him with Mahamat Bachir, a loyalist of Déby's Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), on October 15, 1994.
In June 1996, the first multiparty presidential election in Chad's history were held. Choua placed fifth, taking 5.93% of the vote, while Déby won in the second round, held in July. He was elected to the National Assembly as an RDP candidate in the first round of the 1997 parliamentary election.
In the 2001 presidential election, the RDP supported Déby, and the party, in alliance with Déby's Patriotic Salvation Movement (MPS), won 12 seats (out of 155) in the April 2002 parliamentary election. Choua himself was re-elected to the National Assembly as an RDP candidate from Mao constituency in Kanem Department. Choua is the President of the RDP Parliamentary Group in the National Assembly. In 2005, during the constitutional referendum on the elimination of presidential term limits, Choua and his party boycotted the vote.
According to the RDP, on February 3, 2008, during a battle between government forces and rebels for control of N'Djamena, Choua was arrested by members of the presidential guard, who "acted with incredible brutality", and taken away in the back of a truck. Following international expressions of concern regarding the fate of Choua and two other opposition politicians (Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh and Ngarlejy Yorongar) who were also reportedly arrested, Interior Minister Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said on February 14 that Choua had been "found" and that he was still alive. Also on February 14, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the French ambassador to Chad had been allowed to visit Choua, who was being held in a military prison. On February 16, Minister of Communications Hourmadji Moussa Doumgor said that Choua was being held with prisoners of war. Foreign Minister Ahmad Allam-Mi said on February 22 that Choua had been found working with the rebels in flagrant délit and was being held for investigation. The RDP sharply denounced this claim.
On February 26, the government announced that Choua was being placed under house arrest.
- Bernard Lanne, "Chad: Regime Change, Increased Insecurity, and Blockage of Further Reforms", Political Reform in Francophone Africa (1997), ed. Clark and Gardinier, page 280.
- "Rapport de la Mission d’Observation du 2è tour de l’Élection Présidentielle le 3 juillet 1996", democratie.francophonie.org (French).
- "RAPPORT DE LA MISSION D’OBSERVATION DU DEUXIEME TOURDES ELECTIONS LEGISLATIVES DU 23 FEVRIER 1997", democratie.francophonie.org (French).
- List of members of the National Assembly (following 2002 election), ialtchad.com (French).
- List of leading figures in the National Assembly, Chadian government website (French).
- "Life returns to N'Djamena", AFP (News24.com), February 13, 2008.
- "Chad opposition targeted", AFP (The Times, South Africa), February 11, 2008.
- "Chad president declares nationwide state of emergency", AFP, February 14, 2008.
- "L'opposant tchadien Lol Mahamat Choua enlevé, vivant mais toujours absent", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), February 15, 2008 (French).
- "Chad not holding opposition leader, says minister", Associated Press (International Herald Tribune), February 17, 2008.
- "Confusion autour du sort de l'opposant disparu Ngarlejy Yorongar", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), February 22, 2008 (French).
- "L'opposant Lol Mahamat Choua placé en résidence surveillée", AFP (Jeuneafrique.com), February 26, 2008 (French).
- Terry M. Mays (2002). Africa's First Peacekeeping Operation: The OAU in Chad. Greenwood. ISBN 0-275-97606-8.
- Sam C. Nolutshungu (1995). Limits of Anarchy: Intervention and State Formation in Chad. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 0-8139-1628-3.
|Head of State of Chad