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Could Chad be a ‘time bomb’ affecting Algeria, Sahel in Africa? – analysis

CM 03/05/2021

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 The death of Chad President Idriss Deby, who came to power in 1990, could spell trouble for neighboring areas in the Sahel in Africa. The Sahel is a swath of geography from Senegal to Somalia that is often a euphemism for instability and infiltration by armed – including jihadist – groups.  

Many publications, from France24 to Brookings to Al-Ain media in the Gulf, are now concerned about instability in the wake of Deby’s death. “Terrifying chaos” could be coming, says Al-Ain. A “time bomb” is about to explode that threatens Algeria and the Sahel.“The crises in the African coast will hardly end until another is ignited, as happened recently in Chad, following the killing of its president, Idriss Deby, which threatens Algeria’s security,” Al-Ain’s report says. Mahomet Idriss Deby, the son of the president, has promised an 18-month transition. To the east in Sudan there is also a transition taking place after the 2019 fall of president Omar al-Bashir, a Muslim Brotherhood extremist accused of genocide who had close ties to Turkey. The Central African Republic, south of Chad, has also been destabilized by civil war, extremism, tribal fighting and mercenaries. Niger, to the West, has been attacked repeatedly by extremists and Libya to the north is in the midst of civil conflict too. 
Could Chad also affect Algeria? The article at Al-Ain warns of a snowball effect. Algeria has condemned the killing of Deby. “Algeria is among the countries in the region that fear the repercussions and prospects of the assassination of the Chadian president, amid fears that the flame of terrorist groups will extend to this African country,” said an expert to Al-Ain. The report notes that “Algeria lives in a volatile environment and inflamed borders with Libya and Niger. Matters became more complicated after the military coup in Mali last August, which is a region that is a major concern for Algeria, especially with the terrorist activity of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the Malian north bordering the Algerian border. 
Now Algeria has a new security burden. The expert “acknowledged the seriousness of the repercussions of the assassination of the Chadian president on the security of Algeria and the region, referring to his country’s concerns about the possible deterioration of the security situation in this African country and its repercussions on the countries of the region and “an increase in the military burden on the Algerian army.” Chad’s army had advanced weapons and experience. While Chad had cracked down on extremism there is now concern of growing chaos. The burden on Algeria as a center of stability now grows.  
“Algeria and the African Union are well acquainted with the outcomes of these roads, and the extent of foreign interventions in such countries, and therefore they anticipate that there are other hands that may obstruct all solutions in Chad or in the region in order to maintain chaos and for these countries to legitimize themselves to remain in the region,” the report notes.  


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