France President to attend Sahel summit in Chad virtually due to pandemic

Due to the spread of the COVID-10 pandemic in the region and travel restrictions in France, President Emmanuel Macron will take part in a summit on the situation in the Sahel via video call, a presidential official said.

In the Chadian capital of N’Djamena, Macron and his defense and foreign ministers were due to attend the two-day event on Feb. 15-16.

A total of 3,568 cases with 127 deaths have been reported in Chad. The capital has been locked down since Jan. 1, but COVID-19 infections are declining, with 21 new infections registered on average every day. This, according to Reuters

Over the past week, political tensions have been on the rise following the appointment of President Idriss Deby, who has been in power since 1990, to seek a sixth term in the April 11 presidential election.

Violent protests flared up in the capital on Saturday after Deby’s candidacy was declared by the ruling party, and more protests are scheduled for the weekend and the summit is expected to begin on Monday.

Educator, writer and legal researcher at Alafarika for Studies and Consultancy.

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