Chad: FIDH calls for an independent investigation into the death of opposition figure Yaya Dillo

Press release
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On 4 March 2024, Succès Masra, the Chadian Prime Minister, promised an "international investigation" into the death of Yaya Dillo, the main opponent of the transitional President of Chad, General Mahamat Idriss Deby. The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) is calling the African Union and the United Nations to establish a joint independent commission of enquiry. It must shed light on the human rights violations committed during the violence that rocked Ndjamena from 27 February to 1 March 2024.

Paris, N’Djamena, 8 March 2024. Supporters of the Parti socialiste sans frontières (PSF), the main political party opposed to General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the transitional President of Chad, were killed in the assault on the party headquarters on 28 February 2024. Among them was Yaya Dillo, the leading opponent of the Deby regime.

Chadian authorities deny any responsibility in the death of the opposition figure. On 1 March, the Minister of Communication, Abderaman Koullamalah, stated that "in the exchange of gunfire with law enforcement forces, Mr. Yaya Dillo was injured and succumbed to his injuries." On 4 February, Prime Minister Succès Masra indicated on RFI that "the government is committed to conducting an international investigation that will establish responsibilities at all levels."

FIDH and its Chadian member organisations, the Association tchadienne pour la promotion et la défense des droits de l’Homme (ATPDH) and the Ligue tchadienne des droits de l’Homme (LTDH), are calling for a joint independent commission of enquiry to be set up by the African Union and the United Nations to shed full light on the violence.

Chadian justice system compromised by endemic impunity

"We fear that this case will suffer the same fate as that of the tragic events of 20 October 2022, during which at least 218 people were killed. We are facing a denial of justice after a general amnesty law was passed on 23 November 2023", said Agnès Ildjima Lokiam, President of ATPDH.

"The adoption of this amnesty law confirms the Chadian authorities’ total lack of political will: they will not fight against impunity. Yet civilians have repeatedly called for justice for the many acts of violence and serious human rights violations they have suffered over the decades", said Drissa Traoré, FIDH Secretary General.

"Only the fight against impunity, combined with the opening up of civic and democratic space, can enable the Chadian people to aspire to genuine reconciliation and lasting stability after several decades of state violence", said Adoum Mahamat Boukar, LTDH President.

Yaya Dillo had already escaped several attacks, including one on 28 February 2021 that claimed the lives of his mother and son. He usually surrounded himself with armed men. Members of the PSF and other political and civil society groups spoke of a "heinous and inadmissible crime", while declaring that Yaya Dillo had been "assassinated by the presidential guard". On 1 March, two days after his death, the PSF headquarters in N’Djamena’s 2nd district was demolished by excavators on the orders of the Chadian authorities. The demolition took place outside any legal framework.

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