Muslim scholars union urges Chad to hand power to civilians

By Ahmed Asmar

ANKARA (AA) – The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) urged authorities in Chad on Tuesday to hand power to civilian rule and to protect the people's right to peaceful expression.

In a statement, IUMS Secretary General Ali Qaradaghi urged all Chadians "to put into consideration the country and all Chadian people's interests."

Qaradaghi called for "abiding by the [Chadian] constitution and law, and the peaceful circulation of power via free and transparent elections."

He also demanded France, which has a military presence in Chad, a former French colony, to withdraw its troops and to stop interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

On Tuesday, at least two Chadians were killed in clashes in the capital N'Djamena between supporters of opposition groups and Chadian security forces, in addition to demonstrations in other areas across Chad.

Following the sudden death of Chad's president of three decades, Idriss Deby, a transitional military council was formed headed by his son Mahamat.

Despite forming an 18-month transitional government which included opposition figures, the move is still regarded by opposition parties as a coup.