The three-band diplomacy of Chadian Mahamat Déby

Very fragile on the domestic level where it only imposes itself thanks to the unfailing support of an ultra-repressive security apparatus, Mahamat Déby, who has just been proclaimed, despite fraud, winner of Sunday’s Presidential election, has been imposed, since the brutal death of his father in 2021, by great skill on the diplomatic level

The objective of Mahamat Déby, who has just been officially proclaimed elected as president in Sunday’s election, is that neighboring countries cannot serve as a rear base for Chadian rebel groups. He, who established himself through a sort of family coup, likes the company of authoritarian regimes. He strengthened ties with President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, president of the Central African Republic and ally of Russia, as well as with Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who rules the roost in eastern Libya.

In Sudan, the Chadian leader plays the card of the rebel and formidable general Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, supported by the Emiratis. . “These rapprochements have enabled Chad to carry out military operations against Chadian rebels in Central African and Libyan territories,” estimate Crisis Group experts. Mahamat Déby then positioned himself on the regional geopolitical scene by preserving his close relationship with France, but also by opening the door to new security and economic partnerships with the United Arab Emirates, Hungary and more recently Russia. »

These numerous bridges with countries very far from the French territory, even hostile to Emmanuel Macron like Vladimir Putin, make it possible to raise the stakes with its French partner to be better listened to and obtain more development aid. He is thinking about the equipment of his army, but also the resources available to electrify, develop agriculture and the mining potential of the country. “Privately, he assures that with 40,000 Zaghawa soldiers protecting him, he really does not need Wagner’s services,” continues his regular visitor

The coups in the Sahel have made Chad the last pole of stability in the region. Mahamat Déby also remains the last reliable ally of the West, with the exception of the Americans who are eyeing his adversary. “Like other African heads of state, he has the whole world in his waiting room,” notes journalist Antoine Glaser. With the war in Sudan and the instability in Libya, Chad represents a major issue. It occupies a geostrategic place between North Africa and the south of the Sahara. It is the last flag of the French presence in the central Sahel. »

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