Catholic Bishops in Chad Decry Violence, Call for “true inclusive national dialogue”

Members of the Episcopal Conference of Chad (CET). Credit: CET

Catholic Bishops in Chad have decried “endemic violence” in the North-Central African nation and are urging authorities to call for “a true inclusive national dialogue”.

Speaking at the start of the Second Plenary Assembly of members of the Episcopal Conference of Chad (CET) on November 26, the President of CET urged his brother Bishops to continue to be the voice of the voiceless in the country.

“This second session of the plenary of our Episcopal Conference for 2022 is taking place in a difficult context, with worrying situations in our country,” Archbishop Goetbé Edmond Djitangar said.

Archbishop Djitangar added, “Since our last major session in 2021, we have been actively preparing with the faithful for the great meeting of the National Dialogue, which unfortunately has not kept its promises.”

“At the beginning of this Plenary Assembly, I would like once again, in the name of our Church-Family of God, to express our compassion for all the families that have been severely affected by the recent violence,” he said. 


CET President continued, “We cannot fail to denounce the risk of settling into this state of endemic violence if nothing is done to engage in a true inclusive national dialogue.”

Tension has been high in Chad following the extension of the mandate of the President of the Transitional Council, Mahamat Idriss Déby.

In April 2021, President Idriss Déby Itno who had been at the helm of the country since 1990 died after succumbing to injuries reportedly from a battle with the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a dissident army rebel group in the Northern part of the country.

Following his death, a transitional council of military officers led by Deby's son, Mahamat, as interim president, started overseeing Chad’s transition period for the next 18 months.

On October 8, Chad’s military leader, Mahamat, was named President of the transition following deliberations of the country’s National Inclusive Dialogue (DNI), RFI reported

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He was sworn in on October 10 as President of a two-year transitional period ahead of "democratic" elections, a move that sparked the October 20 protests.

On that day (October 20), security forces opened fire on protesters who were calling for a “quicker transition to democratic rule” in several cities across Chad, including N’Djamena, the capital, reportedly killing at least 50 people and injuring dozens of others, Reuters reported.

In a letter addressed to the President of Chad’s Transitional Council, Archbishop Djitangar expressed anger and indignation over the crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Speaking during the November 26 CET Plenary Assembly, Archbishop Djitangar said, “As pastors, we cannot turn a deaf ear to the cries of those who are suffering and, moreover, we have the duty to relay their voices to those who have the responsibility to ensure their security and their physical and social well-being.”

The Chadian Archbishop went to highlight the importance of peace in the country, saying, “To call for peace as we are often asked to do is one dimension of our mission; but peace is a common endeavor that God always blesses.”


To achieve peace, the President of CET said that Catholic Bishops “are always available to collaborate with all people of good will and to make concrete proposals because the future of this people is our spiritual responsibility.”

“That is why, beyond the trials we are going through, our hope remains intact,” he added.

The 70-year-old Catholic Archbishop implored, “We continue to pray that the expectations expressed in the beautiful words of our national anthem will be fulfilled.”

“We continue to ask God to fill the hearts of all Chadians with love and respect for one another,” he further implored, and added, “May our reflections of these days lead to concrete actions for the good of all. May the Lord bless us and bless our church and our country.”

On November 20, CET members called for the celebration of Holy Eucharist in all Parishes in Chad and the reaching out to those who have suffered as a result of violent conflicts in the country in a prayer day that was to be held on Monday, November 28.

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Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.