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Chad: President Idriss Deby under pressure from opposition groups

Chad's opposition held a nationwide shutdown Wednesday in protest against President Idriss Deby Itno’s bid for a fifth term in office. A large number of shops and schools remained closed, and traffic stayed off the streets in the capital, N'Djamena, and several other cities. The strike action was called under the slogan, “That's enough,” by several opposition groups who oppose the bid. "That's enough" opposition grouping is made up of scores of civil society groups, the Chadian Human Rights League and the Union of Chadian Trade Unions. 

Meanwhile, Mahamat Nour Ibedou, a spokesman for the opposition, said the cities of Abeche in the east, Sarh in the south and central Mongo were also locked down. "This shows people have realized they can exercise their democratic rights," Ibedou said, adding, "It also highlights that people are fed up, it's proof they reject Deby's candidacy" for president." Chad's second-biggest city, Moundou, also observed complete shutdown from the morning to lunchtime, with a resident saying, "Not even the motorbike taxis are running." Banks and private companies reportedly remained open for business along with some ministries in N'Djamena and elsewhere. President Deby, who has been in office for two and a half decades, is running for re-election on April 10.

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