Chadian Catholic Lay Executives Express “disappointment” with Outcome of National Dialogue

Members of the Association of Catholic Lay Executives of Chad (UCCT) during the October 11 press conference in Chad’s capital, N'djamena. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Members of the Association of Catholic Lay Executives of Chad (UCCT) have, in a collective statement, criticized the outcome of the country’s National Inclusive Dialogue (DNI) initiative and expressed their “disappointment”.

On October 8, Chad’s military leader, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, was named President of the transition following deliberations of DNI, RFI reported. He was sworn in on October 10 as President of a two-year transitional period ahead of "democratic" elections.

In a statement read out to members of the press in Chad’s capital, N'djamena, UCCT members said they followed with “keen attention” the progress of the national dialogue and the inauguration of the transitional President on October 10.

“UCCT expresses disappointment at the decision of the DNI to grant Mahamat Idriss Déby a transitional period of 24 months and to open the way for him to run in the next elections,” UCCT members said in their Tuesday, October 11 collective statement.

They recalled the African Union’s (AU) demand that the members of the National Transitional Council “respect the 18-month period and not stand in elections”. 


In April 2021, President Idriss Déby Itno who had been at the helm of the country since 1990 died after succumbing to injuries 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.

The council has published a charter that defines the role of members expected to be appointed to the national transitional council, a charter that has been rejected by opposition parties in the country.

DNI, which was originally scheduled for February, was repeatedly postponed due to a failure of the parties to agree on the terms of deliberations. 

In the statement read out by UCCT President, Ngaradoum Alla-Ndigue, the members of the association expressed dismay at the DNI resolutions, “which do not reflect the aspirations of the Chadian people, especially with regard to the federation, which has been postponed to a referendum, and the reform of the army, which has been overlooked.”

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“These meetings, which should lead to the rebuilding of Chad and a return to constitutional order, had raised hopes among the Chadian people,” UCCT members said.

Many Chadians are “most pessimistic about the future of the nation after this meeting,” they further said, and added, “UCCT believes that the junta's obstinacy through the Transitional Council in minimizing the resolutions of the African Union and Chad's other partners risks leading our country into a totalitarian drift.”

UCCT members also question the credibility of the national dialogue when the “main actors of civil society, political parties, some political-military actors and the Catholic Church have withdrawn from these meetings.”

They went on to criticize the transition period, saying, “All the vital parameters are in the red: patched-up education, a minimal health system, paralyzed administration, high rural conflicts, growing insecurity and the people languishing in misery because of the high cost of living.”

“We wonder what the transitional president will be able to do in another 24 months,” UCCT members said, adding that the October 10 inauguration of the President “paves the way for the seizure of power.”


In their statement, UCCT members urged the President of the Transition “to create a framework for exchanges with the various actors of political life and civil society for a peaceful return to constitutional order.”

In September, Catholic Bishops in Chad announced their withdrawal from DNI decrying the lack of “dialogue”.

“The Catholic Church, whose mission is to work for reconciliation, justice and peace, felt concerned and gave particular importance to this dialogue by taking part with a delegation made up of bishops, priests and lay people,” members of the Episcopal Conference of Chad (CET) said in their September 3 statement shared with ACI Africa.

However, CET members said, “there has been no dialogue” in the ongoing deliberations of DNI.

“This is why we are forced to suspend our participation in the sessions so as not to endorse the control of one group over the dialogue process,” Catholic Bishops in Chad further said.

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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.