Political tension in the central African state of Chad has been heightened by a one-day strike and reports of an impending coup.
Political tension in the central African state of Chad has been heightened by a one-day strike and reports of an impending coup. Trouble began when President Felix Malloum accused his Prime Minister Hissene Habre of obstructing the administration of the country. Reuters reported that leaflets distributed in the capital on Thursday (25 January) warned of a planned coup by the head of the gendarmerie.
SYNOPSIS: On thursday (245 January) -- the day of the national strike -- Chad's capital, N'Djamena was virtually deserted. Many shops, offices and schools closed down for the day. The crisis stems from the government's war against the Chad National Liberation Front, which controls the northern part of the country. Two thousand French troops are supporting the government forces.
Few people ventured into the streets as the capital awaited the next development. A former leader of the Liberation Front guerrillas, Hissene Habre, became Prime Minister last year, but a rift developed between Mr. Habre and President Malloum. The head of the National Gendarmerie, Colonel Abdelkadr Wadal Kamougue, stepped in.
Colonel Kamougue was an unsuccessful candidate for the post of Prime Minister last year. He heads the country's only effective fighting unit. And pamphlets have warned of an impending coup by the colonel. As a southerner, he opposes Mr. Habre, a Moslem from the north.