Macron holds talks with France’s last Sahel ally
The transitional leader of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby, also known as Mahamat Kaka, has paid a working visit to Paris, where he held talks with French President Emmanuel Macron, which focused on strengthening bilateral ties, the African country announced.
Discussions between the two leaders during the visit on Tuesday lasted more than an hour and addressed matters of mutual concern for both nations in “Africa, Europe and the world,” the Chadian presidency said in a statement.
“The two Heads of State underlined the importance of socio-economic stability for the prosperity of peoples, calling for strengthened cooperation to meet common challenges. They pledged to work together to promote peace, stability and socio-economic development,” it added.
Mahamat Kaka took over as Chad’s leader after his pro-French father, Idriss Deby, was killed by rebels on the battlefield in 2021. The interim president initially promised to hold elections within 18 months, but the deadline was later extended by two years to October 2024, sparking protests that killed dozens of civilians.
During the meeting on Tuesday with Macron, the Chadian leader said he remains committed to fulfilling all the obligations of the transition.
He additionally “requested continued and substantial support from France as the transition begins its final turn,” the government said.
Chad has become the last remaining ally of Paris in the Sahel region, with Niger claiming last week that French troops withdrawing from Niamey were being transferred there. Paris already has a base in the country with around 1,000 troops.
The Chadian authorities have hailed France as a “long-standing” and “reliable” partner with whom they have a mutually beneficial bilateral agreement, despite the growing number of protests against French presence in N’Djamena.
Evariste N’Garlem Tolde, a Chadian political analyst, told RT earlier this month that the French army has failed in fighting jihadist insurgencies, instead fueling terrorist activity in the country.