US Urges Chad To Be Inclusive After Junta Chief Wins Vote


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Washington: The United States on Thursday urged Chad to be more inclusive to political rivals after junta leader General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno won an election cast as ending military rule.

The United States, which along with former colonial power France has had security ties with the Sahel nation, said it welcomed the holding of the election but that it was "concerned" by the exclusion of multiple rivals to Deby.

"Although there were troubling shortcomings, we welcome the milestones in Chad's transition process," including the election and talks with insurgents, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said.

"We urge Chadian authorities to work with all stakeholders -- especially political parties and civil society organizations -- to address any concerns with this election and strengthen the inclusivity and transparency of Chad's institutional framework for future elections," he said in a statement.

Final results of the May 6 vote announced Thursday gave Deby -- whose late father ruled Chad for three decades until he was killed in 2021 -- 61 percent of the vote.

Ahead of the vote, the United States said it was withdrawing some of its 100 troops based in Chad as part of a campaign against extremism in the Sahel.

Molly Phee, the top State Department official for Africa, told a congressional hearing this week that the United States still had a "very small number of troops" in Chad and did not consider the temporary withdrawal to be a "hostile" act by the country.

She said she expected the United States to hold post-election talks with Chad on security cooperation.

The United States recently agreed to pull its 1,000 troops out of neighboring Niger, long a key partner in anti-jihadist operations, after a coup brought to power a junta that has built ties with Russia.

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The Peninsula

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