Chad pardons 380 rebels jailed over former president death
Chad’s interim president, Mahamat Idriss Deby, has pardoned 380 rebels from group, The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).
They were part of a group of 400 people who were handed life sentences last Tuesday in connection with the 2021 death of his father, the country’s long-time ruler, Idriss Deby Itno.
He was killed during visiting to troops fighting FACT on the frontline in northern Chad.
The group had launched an offensive earlier that year from bases in Libya.
The rebels were found guilty of terrorism, undermining national security, endangering the life of the head of state, and the recruitment of children, among other charges.
The exiled leader of the rebel group, Mahamat Mahdi Ali, who was tried and convicted in absentia, was not included in the presidential pardon.
Idriss Deby, who was installed by the military junta after his father’s death, has held peace talks with various rebel groups since then.
But FACT has not taken part saying the transitional authorities needed to make gestures of peace first, including releasing prisoners.
“He had promised to hold democratic elections after 18 months, which would have been in October 2022, but has now said the vote will take place in 2024”.
This lead to violent anti-government protests in which at least 60 people died and hundreds others were arrested.