Chad Opposition Leader Succes Masra Returns from Exile

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Succes Masra, the president of the Transformers political party, opposed the leadership of Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who was installed president by a military junta in 2021.

Three days following an agreement with the government. On November 4, Succes Masra, a prominent opposition figure in Chad, returns from exile.

On October 31, Chad’s military government and Succès Masra signed an agreement for his return after a year in forced exile, Congolese mediation announced in Kinshasa.

Aziz Mahamat Saleh, the minister of communication and government spokesman in Chad, revealed without giving more information that Succes Masra would be returning after going into exile a year prior due to the violent suppression of protests he had supported.

Masra and other opposition leaders were exiled a few days after the brutal suppression of protests against military rule that took place on October 20, 2022. The government claimed that military and police gunfire in the capital, N’Djamena, killed roughly fifty people, while the opposition and independent observers put the number closer to 300.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Although Masra had earlier declared he would return on October 18, the authorities released an international arrest warrant dating from June 18, and police detained at least 72 youths who were in preparation for his public welcome.

In accordance with the terms of the agreement facilitated by the Democratic Republic of Congo, the government pledged to “ensure free exercise of his political activities and facilitate his return, as well as his legal and physical security’’.

In exchange, the opposition leader promised to “maintain dialogue towards a peaceful political solution” in Chad. However, Wakit Tamma, another significant opposition group, declined to acknowledge the agreement on Wednesday because a number of its leaders are still living in exile.

On April 20, 2021, 37-year-old general Mahat Deby was proclaimed transitional president by the army after his father, Idriss Deby Itno, was killed by rebels. Deby had promised elections within 18 months but postponed the vote for another two years after the deadline passed.

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