“The Government of the Republic of Chad asks SEM Jan Christian Gordon Kricke, Ambassador Extraordinary and in full power of the Federal Republic of Germany, to leave Chadian territory in no more than 48 hours. This decision of the Government is motivated by the impolite attitude and the lack of respect in his diplomatic uses on the part of the German ambassador, as prescribed by the Vienna Convention”.
With this concise and forceful message, the Chadian government announced this Friday the expulsion of the German ambassador, who will leave the African country today to the astonishment of the Germans. Sources close to the government confirmed to the Reuters agency that This decision was motivated by a statement made by the German ambassador, in which he criticized the delay of the elections that were secured after the 2021 coup. and the judicial ruling that will allow the current leader of the country, Mahamat Idriss Deby, to run in the 2024 presidential elections with clear options to win them.
Kricke, who has previously held diplomatic posts in the Philippines, Angola and neighboring Niger, would have “interfered” too much in the country’s internal politics, according to anonymous sources told AFP, and had already been repeatedly warned before being expelled. Many find it strange that Kricke was the one chosen to suffer this drastic decision, since The embassies of Spain, France and the Netherlands also strongly and officially criticized the repressive measures adopted by the current government during the protests that took place at the end of 2022when dozens of civilians died as a result of police charges.
Diplomatic relations between Germany and Chad have been going on without interruption since 1960, the year in which the country achieved its independence from France, and the website of the German Foreign Ministry dictates that “Germany’s main interest in Chad is the continuation of efforts to build a stable state with strong institutions, good governance and respect for human rights”. Likewise, the German government indicates its support for Chad “through assistance projects for the development of the transition and the special initiative for displaced persons (…). The initiative focuses on ensuring food security and improving the livelihoods of the local population.” From Germany they have expressed their astonishment at the expulsion of their ambassador, who they say they do not understand “in any way”.
Bread and Circus
But there is a different atmosphere on the continent. Burkinabe and Malian tweeters applaud the move and proudly point out that their respective governments took the lead in a new type of relations between Europe and Africa, by expelling French ambassadors from both countries in recent years. The common denominator between Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali is that all three countries are ruled by soldiers who seized power through coups. This is how a new model of militarized pan-Africanism is drawn, not without a certain anger towards Europe, which takes shape in the Sahel to the applause of many of its citizens and which makes heroes of tyrants and villains who have the courage to question them. .
Because the president of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Deby, is not an example of democracy to turn to nor a hero worthy of African applause. His father was Idriss Déby, a dictator by profession between 1990 and 2021, the year he was assassinated. during a fight against insurgents who attacked Chad from Libya in response to their electoral irregularities. His son then carried out an institutional coup to secure power and promised to hold free elections two years later, in 2023, but a year before the agreed term was completed, the date was moved to 2024 (for now).
Although Idriss Déby (Sr.) was an active ally of Europe and other African nations in confronting the jihadists gripping the Sahel, His government was not exempt from police abuse, torture, political persecution, summary executions and a string of human rights violations.; a path that his son seems willing to follow. Several powers in the region, as well as the United States and the previously mentioned European nations, have repeatedly expressed their concern about the possible extension of this military dictatorship that already seems to adopt familiar overtones and that hides its tyranny in populist actions, such as the expulsion of an ambassador who is annoying to his plans.