Chad: former opponent Succès Masra appointed prime minister

One ex-opponent hunts the other in N’Djamena

Chad: former opponent Succès Masra appointed prime minister

One ex-opponent hunts the other in N’Djamena. Success Masra was appointed Prime Minister of Chad on Monday January 1 by transitional President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno. He replaces Saleh Kebzabo, historic opponent of former president Idriss Déby Itno, who died in April 2021 after more than 30 years in power.

At the head of the Les Transformateurs party, Succès Masra made himself known as one of the main critics of the military regime led by the son of Idriss Déby Itno. A frontal opposition which pushed him into exile, the day after the bloody repression of the demonstrations of October 20, 2022.

Returning to Chad in November, he finally lined up behind the government by calling for a “yes” vote in the constitutional referendum on December 17, 2023. The adoption of the text – considered a key step towards the return to power of civilians at the end of an election promised by the junta and finally postponed to the end of 2024 – had been approved with 86% of the votes and a participation rate of 63.75%. Results contested by part of the opposition, who had called for a boycott of the vote.

“Fool’s deal”

Success Masra, 40, was able to return to Chad on November 3, 2023 after signing a “reconciliation agreement” with the transitional president. A pact denounced as a “fools’ agreement” by the rest of the opposition, since it notably provided for a “general amnesty” of those responsible for the murders of demonstrators on October 20, 2022.

Thousands of people, most of them very young men, took to the streets of the capital, N'Djamena, and several provincial towns that day to protest against the extension of the military transition that began the day after the death of President Idriss Déby Itno. Nearly fifty died under the bullets of the police, according to the authorities; more than 300 according to the opposition, national and international NGOs and a report by experts commissioned by the United Nations.

Considered by those in power to be primarily responsible for the October 2022 uprising, Succès Masra spent more than a year in the United States, Europe and several African countries where he continued to plead his cause and challenge the authorities of N'Djamena.

In response, the latter initiated proceedings, in particular for “attempting to undermine constitutional order” and “inciting an insurrectionary uprising”. But the agreement between N’Djamena and the boss of Transformers allowed the lifting of the international arrest warrant issued against him on June 8 by his country’s justice system.