(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.
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.