People have reportedly taken to the streets in Chad after the killing of a local soldier by a foreign medic.
Demonstrators tried to make their way into a French military base in the north-central African country of Chad, local media outlets reported on Wednesday. According to Russian news agency RIA-Novosti, the Chadian troops guarding the facility have fired shots in order to dispense the crowd.
The outrage was caused by the murder of a Chadian soldier inside a French military base in the northern town of Faya-Largeau on Tuesday, Alwihda Info has reported.
An unnamed senior official in the Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region told the outlet that a Chadian serviceman had come to the base to receive medical treatment. During the procedure, he allegedly grabbed a scalpel and injured the French military doctor who was treating him, at which point the medic grabbed his gun and “neutralized” the attacker, the official said.
A joint probe has been launched by the Chadian and French militaries to investigate the incident, he added.
A French diplomatic source told Alwihda Info that the doctor was in serious condition after being stabbed three times and had difficulty answering when questioned by the authorities. The Chadian soldier died instantly after being shot, he said.
The unnamed diplomat also claimed that locals tried to storm the French base at least twice after news of the incident spread, but had failed to breach the facility.
Chadian political analyst Evariste Ngarlem Tolde confirmed to RIA-Novosti that there were heated protests in the city of Faya-Largeau, noting that Chadian troops guarding the French base used live rounds to disperse the angry crowd. He did not, however, have any information about possible deaths or injuries.
The analyst also said that the members of Chad’s National Assembly, who arrived at the site, demanded some 1,000 French troops be withdrawn from the country. The MPs stated “they couldn’t understand how the French military could kill a Chadian on Chadian territory,” according to Tolde.
Tensions in Faya-Largeau remain high and there are concerns that the protests against the French military presence could spread to other regions of the country, he warned.
Another former French colony – Niger – has told Paris to pull its troops out of the country after the military deposed President Mohamed Bazoum in late July. Niger’s new prime minister, Ali Lamine Zeine, said on Monday that French forces remained in the country “illegally” and that “talks are underway, which should allow for a swift withdrawal.”