Chadian President Mohamed Idriss Deby issued a decree pardoning, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, 380 rebels from the Front for Change and Accord in Chad who were sentenced this week to life imprisonment for their involvement in the killing of former President Idriss Deby Itno.
On Tuesday, more than 400 rebels were sentenced to life imprisonment in Chad, after they were convicted, especially of “undermining the life” of the former president, who spent the battlefront in 2021 during a rebel attack.
“More than 400 people have been sentenced” to life imprisonment “for terrorist acts, mercenaries, recruiting children into the army and harming the life of the head of state,” N’Djamena prosecutor Mohamed El Hadj Abba Nana said.
In April 2021, the Front for Change and Accord in Chad (FACT) launched an attack from its rear bases in Libya, on the day of the presidential elections that the former president, who presided over the country for 30 years, was certain to win.
The day after his victory, the army announced on April 20 that the president who had ruled Chad since 1990 had been killed while leading troops against the rebels.
His son, General Mohamed Idriss Deby, immediately after his death, took over the leadership of a “transitional military council,” promising to organize free elections within 18 months.
In a statement published on Saturday, Mohamed Idriss Deby Itno’s office announced that “a presidential pardon includes members of the armed group FACT who have been sentenced for undermining the integrity of the state (…)”.
Francis Lokoldi, a lawyer for the members of the Front for Change and Accord in Chad, expressed his “satisfaction” when contacted by AFP.
He pointed out that the head of FACT in exile, Muhammad Mahdi Ali, and 55 members of the organization, who were sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment, are not included in the amnesty.
In October 2022, the “comprehensive and sovereign national dialogue” in Chad officially named General Mohamed Idriss Deby Atno, president of a “transitional” period that will last two years, in preparation for “transparent” elections.
At the end of this dialogue, he reiterated his commitment, within the framework of a peace agreement signed in Doha on August 8, 2022 with some rebel groups, to release “prisoners of war”.
Hundreds were released, but he also left others in prison, including members of the Front for Change and Accord in Chad.