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Chad’s banned anti-austerity protest set to commence

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Chad’s banned anti-austerity protest set to commence

Chad Protests
Photo: Amnesty International

Mass anti-austerity protests continue today in Chad with six opposition parties planning to participate.

The resource-rich former French colony, led by President Idriss Deby since 1990, has enacted a series of austerity measures in order to curb public spending and align with International Monetary Fund (IMF) spending targets. Chad, close to its 300% quota limit equating to roughly $585 million, has persisted with austerity measures to maintain IMF support. The areas hardest hit by the measures have been health services and schools. On January 11, unions representing a majority of the public sector began an indefinite strike, which is ongoing.

Deby, who is in his fifth term in office, has managed a quasi-dictatorship, often redirecting public funds to maintain his power. Repeat and long-running austerity measures have left the public sector working for less than half of their wages since 2016. With no end in sight, the protests and strikes will likely end in violence. Amid a rise in global unrest, Deby may feel forced to take heavy-handed measures against the protests if he is unwilling to break from IMF support and reduce austerity measures. The public sector is unlikely to back down.

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Photo: Niall Carson / Associated Press

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