2013-05-02 16:54:20

"Failed coup" in Chad

(Vatican Radio) Security forces in the central African nation of Chad claim they have foiled a coup against the government of President Idriss Deby that had been in prepapration for several months.

Chad’s communications minister, Hassan Sylla Bakary, made the announcement late Wednesday night in a statement broadcast on state-owned television: “Today, May 1, a group of individuals with bad intentions sought to carry out an action to destabilise the institutions of the republic.”

The impoverished former French colony has a long history of coups and rebellions, and President Deby himself led rebel troops into the capital N’Djamena in 1990 to seize power. He has since won four elections and cast himself as a key ally of the West against al Qaeda-linked Islamist fighters across the vast, arid Sahel region.

In his announcement, the communications minister Bakary said the suspected plotters had been handed over to the state prosecutor. However, he did not reveal their identities or give further details of the plot.

Chad’s security services carried out a number of arrests within the ranks of the army on Wednesday, military sources told the Reuters news agency. And at least one member of parliament, an opposition figure named Saleh Maki, was also detained, according to his family.

Listen to Christopher Wells’ report: RealAudioMP3

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