Rome-Based Lay Catholic Association Seeks to Facilitate Transition Process in Chad

Mauro Garofalo, Head of International Relations for the Community of Sant'Egidio with Chad's interim President of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno. Credit: Sant’Egidio Community

The lay Catholic association dedicated to the provision of social services and arbitrating conflicts, Sant’Egidio Community, is seeking to facilitate the process of transition in the North-Central African nation of Chad, the leadership of the Rome-based entity has said.

A transitional council of military officers led by the interim President of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, is overseeing the country’s 18-month transition period that was announced in April 2021.

Last Friday, April 8, a delegation of the Community of Sant'Egidio met with the interim President Idriss Déby in the country’s capital, N'djamena. 

Speaking to journalists after the April 8 meeting, the Head of International Relations for the Community of Sant'Egidio, Mauro Garofalo, said the Lay Catholic Association was “honored to be welcomed by the Head of State”, adding that discussions focused mainly on the “process of inclusive national dialogue.”

“We want to help the Chadian state to achieve a good transition, to complete a good transition. In this sense, we are here to offer our services and our expertise to the head of state to bring the real actors of peace to the table,” Mr. Garofalo said.


He added, “We were able to explain Sant'egidio methodology to the President and I was very honored by his words of appreciation.”

“We will see together at every stage what contribution Sant'Egidio will be able to make,” Mr. Garofalo said.

Chad is reportedly going through a delicate phase of its history. As a way forward, the interim President has opened an inclusive national dialogue, an initiative that the Community of Sant'Egidio supports. 

In January, the leadership of the Rome-based Lay Association brought together the different political-military groups in Italy’s capital to encourage the process of national reconciliation, Sant'Egidio has indicated in a January 21 report, and reiterated an April 8 statement.

In January, the Military Council announced that a national forum designed to chart the country's future would be postponed to May 10.

More in Africa

Last week, the President of the Military Command for the Salvation of the Republic (CCMSR), who is considered one of the major parties taking part in the Chadian pre-dialogue talks taking place in the Qatari capital, Doha, said his movement had suspended its participation.

In an April 10 press statement, CCMSR president, Rachid Tahir Saleh, accuses the government of “taking actions which leave the impression of a hidden agenda animated by bad intentions.”

Speaking to journalists after the April 8 meeting with Chad’s interim President, the Head of International Relations for the Community of Sant'Egidio said, “The meeting in Rome with the political-military forces helped a lot in clearing the way for the pre-dialogue in Doha and, if necessary, we are ready to do it again to help the pre-dialogue and the dialogue.”

“We congratulated the President of the Republic for having called on all the living forces of the nation to talk, to reconcile,” Mr. Garofalo said, and added, “I think this is a historic opportunity that should not be missed.”

The official of the Rome-based Catholic Lay Association continued, “We intend to help the peace process. Sant'Egidio has expertise dating back to the 1980s with the reconciliation and peace process in Mozambique.”


Last year, Catholic Bishops in Chad advocated for “inclusive national dialogue” that can bring together stakeholders in the country’s socio-political life.

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.