The military junta in Chad has set August 20 for a national reconciliation dialogue that has been postponed several times since it took power 15 months ago.
Following the death of President Idriss Déby Itno, who was killed at the front against rebels in April 2021, his son, the young General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, was proclaimed president at the head of a Transitional Military Council of 15 generals.
He immediately promised free and democratic elections within 18 months, after an 'inclusive national dialogue' with the entire political opposition and all the countless rebel groups.
However, after 30 years of authoritarian rule by Idriss Déby, this national reconciliation forum, initially scheduled for 15 February and then 10 May, was postponed, mainly because of pre-dialogue in Doha for a peace agreement between the junta and some fifty rebel groups has been stalled for four months.
"The inclusive national dialogue is convened from 20 August," according to a decree of the Transitional Military Council signed on Thursday by the junta-appointed prime minister, Albert Pahimi Padacké.
The authorities do not specify at any time how to start this dialogue if the fifty or so armed rebel groups negotiating with them in the Qatari capital since 13 March failed to reach an agreement.
However, if the main platform of the unarmed opposition Wakit Tamma does not return to the talks it suspended on April 6 with the junta, whose power it refuses to recognise.
From the very first days, the new Chadian strongman had been endorsed by the international community, led by France, the European Union and the African Union, as his army is one of the pillars of the war against jihadists in the Sahel alongside French troops in the Barkhane operation.
However, Paris, the EU and the AU had asked that the first 18-month deadline not be extended.