Chad HRW wants 39independent39 investigation into death of junta39s main

Chad: HRW wants 'independent' investigation into death of junta's main opponent

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Saturday for an “independent investigation” with “foreign assistance” into the “assassination” of Chad's junta's main opponent, Yaya Dillo Djérou, in the army's attack on his headquarters on Wednesday, two months before the presidential election.

“His death raises serious questions about the political climate in the country ahead of elections scheduled for May 6,” the international NGO wrote in a statement titled: “A prominent opposition leader killed.”

The opposition denounces an “assassination attempt” aimed at excluding him from the presidential race against the interim president, his cousin General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.

Mr Dillo's Socialist Party Without Borders (PSF) even accuses the military of “executing” him by shooting him “at close range”, while the government claims he died in the attack on the PSF headquarters, because he “refused to surrender.” and “shot at the police myself.”

“The circumstances of Yaya Dillo's murder are unclear, but her violent death highlights the dangers facing opposition politicians in Chad, particularly in the run-up to elections,” said Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director at HWR.

“The lack of clarity surrounding the attack on the PSF headquarters, the threats previously made against Dillo and the general political repression in the country make it necessary to launch an independent investigation with foreign support,” continues the NGO, which calls on the African Union (AU) , “to take the initiative” to demand this.

There is a photo circulating among those close to Mr Dillo, which has not yet been authenticated at this point and which AFP has seen. It shows a close-up of the head of the remains of a man who closely resembles Mr. Dillo, a small, very clear hole surrounded by a black halo, exactly in the center of the temple.

“HRW examined several photos sent by a reliable source close to Dillo that showed that he was dead with the impact of a single bullet in the head,” the NGO also writes.

Mahamat Déby, then a young general of 37, was appointed interim president on April 20, 2021 by the army at the head of a junta of 15 generals, following the announcement of the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, who ruled Chad on April 30 For years with an iron fist.

The new strongman promised to return power to civilians after an 18-month transition period, but when that term expired he extended it for two years. The May 6 presidential date was only set last Tuesday.

“Since the death of Idriss Déby […]the interim government led by his son […] “has repeatedly violently suppressed demonstrations organized by the opposition to demand a civilian democratic regime and independent media,” HRW regrets.