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Chadian coup of 1975

Chadian coup of 1975

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The Chadian coup of 1975 was in considerable part generated by the growing distrust of the President
Heads of state of Chad
-List of Heads of State of Chad:-Affiliations:-External links:**...

 of Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, François Tombalbaye
François Tombalbaye
François Tombalbaye, also called Ngarta Tombalbaye , was a teacher and a trade union activist who served as the first president of Chad. He was born in the southern region of the country in the Moyen-Chari Prefecture near the city of Koumara and was of the Sara ethnic group, the prominent ethnicity...

, for the army
Chadian Armed Forces
The Chadian Armed Forces were the army of the central government of Chad from 1960 to 1979, under the southern presidents François Tombalbaye and Félix Malloum, until the downfall of the latter in 1979, when the head of the gendarmerie, Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué, assumed command...

. This distrust came in part from the Chadian Armed Forces
Chadian Armed Forces
The Chadian Armed Forces were the army of the central government of Chad from 1960 to 1979, under the southern presidents François Tombalbaye and Félix Malloum, until the downfall of the latter in 1979, when the head of the gendarmerie, Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué, assumed command...

 (FAT) incapacity to deal with the rebellion that was inflaming the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 north from when the rebel insurgent group FROLINAT
FROLINAT
-Origins:The organization was born as the result of a political union between the leftist Chadian National Union , led by Ibrahim Abatcha, and the General Union of the Children of Chad which was led by Ahmed Hassan Musa. Musa was close to the Muslim Brotherhood and was an Islamist...

 had been formed in 1966.

Arrests


Chad's former colonial power, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, had urged Tombalbaye to involve the military leadership in power, and the President did reserve a place in his party, the Chadian Progressive Party
Chadian Progressive Party
The Chadian Progressive Party was the first African political party created in Chad, active from 1947 to 1973...

 (PPT), for the army commander; but much more important and decisive in undermining his support among the military was, in 1973, to be the arrest of the Army Chief of Staff, General Félix Malloum
Félix Malloum
General Félix Malloum or Félix Malloum Ngakoutou Bey-Ndi was a Chadian politician from the south. He served as an officer in the Chadian Military and as a member of the ruling Chadian Progressive Party . He later became the Chief of Staff with the rank of colonel...

, for an alleged coup plot (the so-called Black Sheep Plot). Also the Generals Jacques Doumro
Jacques Doumro
Jacques Doumro was a Chadian general during the Tombalbaye Regime.Doumro joined the French Army when he was nineteen years old, and fought in the Second World War, becoming a non-commissioned officer in the French Colonial Forces...

 and Negue Djogo
Negue Djogo
Negue Djogo was a Chadian officer and politician.A French-trained Sara officer, his first prominent assignment came in 1966 when, still a lieutenant, he was made by President François Tombalbaye prefect of the key Bourkou-Ennedi-Tibesti region, which France, Chad's former colonial power, had...

, and other officers, were arrested between 1971 and 1975 on similar charges, the latter on March 23, 1975.

It was in this atmosphere of tension that Tombalbaye proceeded to yet another purge in the army, hitting this time the gendarmerie, the twelve hundred strong military police; its head, Colonel Djimet, and his aide, Major Kotiga
Alphonse Kotiga
Colonel Alphonse Kotiga, also known as Kotiga Guérina, was a Chadian military officer and politician. He was one of the leaders of the coup d'etat which overthrew and killed Chadian President François Tombalbaye on April 15, 1975, and then became a minister in the government of the new president,...

, were both arrested on April 2, 1975 for the escape of some FROLINAT prisoners. This was to prove a fatal error.

Army mutiny


The coup started before sunrise on April 13 when in Boraho, a locality 35 miles from the capital, army units led by Lieutenant Dimtolaum left their base and moved towards N'Djamena, where they converged on the President's white-walled palace on the edge of the city. At 5:00 a furious and bloody battle started with Tombalbaye's presidential guard, the Compagnies Tchadiennes de Securité (CTS). Decisive in deciding the outcome of the battle was the arrival of the interim commander of the FAT, Noël Milarew Odingar
Noël Milarew Odingar
Noël Milarew Odingar was a Chadian officer who briefly served as head of state and was later one of the nine members of the Supreme Military Council, the military junta that ruled Chad between 1975 and 1978....

, who brought reinforcements and assumed command of the insurgents.

Other sources http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/37992.htm name Colonel (later General) Kamougué
Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué
Wadel Abdelkader Kamougué was a Chadian politician and former army officer. Kamougué was a leading figure in the 1975 coup d'état and since then he has held several positions in the Chadian government and legislature. He was Vice-President from 1979 to 1982 and was President of the National...

 as the leader of the coup.

At 8:30 Colonel Selebiani, head of the CTS, issued an appeal on the radio for his men to surrender; this put an end to all fighting. In the battle Tombalbaye had been fatally wounded, and died shortly after. When the news of Tombalbaye's death was given, there were mass celebrations in the capital, with thousands of Chadians pouring in the streets while dancing and joyfully chanting "Tombalbaye is dead".

Consequences


Already at 6:30 Odingar announced on the public radio that the armed forces had "exercised their responsibilities before God and the nation". In a later communique the coupists were to justify their actions, accusing Tombalbaye of having governed by dividing the tribes, and of having humiliated the army and treated it with contempt.

General Odingar acted provisionally as head of state and the jailed officers were immediately freed. Among these was General Félix Malloum, who was chosen to be chairman of a nine-man military junta, named the Supreme Military Council (Conseil Supérieur Militaire or CSM), that took office on April 15. It immediately arrested eight of Tombalbaye's top aides and suspended the 1962 constitution, while all parties were banned and the National Assembly
National Assembly of Chad
The National Assembly is the parliament of Chad. It has 155 members, elected for a four year term in 25 single-member constituencies and 34 multi-member constituencies.-See also:*List of Presidents of the National Assembly of Chad...

 was dissolved.

The success of the coup did not produce a major break with Tombalbaye's policies. This was not surprising because, like Tombalbaye, both Odingar and Malloum were Sara
Sara people
The Sara are an ethnic group in Central Africa, who reside mostly in Chad, making up approximatively 30% of its southern population.-In Chad:...

from the south of Chad. While the CSM did make some moves to conciliate the north of the country, the Muslims continued to feel themselves second-class citizens and the FROLINAT rebellion continued.

External links