Chad Signs Peace Agreement With Rebel Groups In Doha

Chad’s transitional military government has signed a peace deal with more than 40 rebel and opposition groups — an encouraging advancement toward peace and national reconciliation. If successfully implemented, this accord will set the stage for an unprecedented degree of stability that has eluded the nation since its independence from France in 1960. 

Nevertheless, in spite of expectations that the Doha Agreement may inspire, complications still lie in wait just beneath the surface of this peace pact. Particularly, with the refusal of Chad’s most powerful rebel group Front for Change and Concord (FACT) — and eight other rebel factions — to enter into the agreement. This decision could foreshadow a failure of the efforts in Doha, rendering this deal to be yet another unavailing peace agreement.

In a statement to Africa News, Max Kemkoye, UDP party leader, highlights a significant limitation that could devastate the aims of Chad’s most recent attempt at a sustainable peace. He recognizes that “this agreement still poses a problem with its application [in Chad], because the important civil society organizations and the most important political actors inland do not adhere to the process.”

Comparably, Chadians have expressed similar skepticism about the efficacy of an agreement that displays little marked difference from the rest. Marius Golbe, a local, told Reuters that Chadians have “witnessed several peace agreements that ended in fratricidal wars between the different signatory parties.” He continued that he “will only believe in this Doha agreement when the armed groups lay down their arms and are demobilized.”

If the Doha Agreement hopes to nurture an amicable peace, it will need to avoid the missteps of its predecessors. The Bangui Agreements of 1997, the Sirte and Birao Agreements of 2007, the Libreville Agreements of 2008, the Brazzaville Forum of 2014, the Rome Agreements of 2017, and the Bangui Agreements of 2019 are all past attempts at peace. All of these agreements endeavored to suspend hostilities, encourage power sharing, rehabilitate rebels, and establish an environment for compromise. And still, they failed for the same reasons — an inability to satisfy all parties and subsequent violations of the agreements.

Though the signing of the agreement is a necessary first step for what could be a successful peace process, it is clear what success hinges on — proper implementation. The newest agreement has not been violated, but already it may be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past with its inability to reel in FACT. Failure to strengthen the pact and involve the remainder of the resisting rebel groups cements the threat for renewed conflict. Additionally, further national dialogue will need to build trust and amass widespread support and confidence in the peace process at all levels of Chadian society. Anything otherwise will, as put by political analyst Evariste Ngarlem Tolde, mean that, “there is no guarantee that hostilities will not resume in the days or months to come.”