Gunfire celebrating Chad’s president-elect leaves dozens injured

Gunfire celebrations in Chad following the declaration of interim President Mahamat Idriss Deby’s election victory resulted in injuries to several people, some severely, as reported by the health ministry.

Urgent measures were ordered for hospitals to assist the worst cases.

In the capital N’Djamena, overnight gunfire erupted shortly after the state election agency announced Deby’s win with 61.3% of the vote on May 6.

However, his main challenger rejected the outcome, calling for protests.

The health ministry, in a statement on Friday, refrained from specifying the exact number of injuries or deaths, although unverified reports suggested casualties, including children.

According to Amnesty International researcher Abdoulaye Diarra, there were discussions of around 10 fatalities.

Madjissem Neldjibaye, a resident of N’Djamena, recounted his experience of being struck by a falling bullet while at home, necessitating a late-night journey to the hospital amidst indiscriminate shooting.

Upon arrival, he witnessed numerous individuals with similar injuries, some more severe. The chaos overwhelmed medical facilities.

The electoral process in Chad has been marred by controversy, including the killing of opposition figure Yaya Dillo, the exclusion of prominent opposition politicians from the candidate list, and other issues that critics argue have compromised the vote’s credibility.

Despite concerns, N’Djamena appeared calm on Friday, with limited signs of opposition supporters rallying.

However, Succes Masra’s Transformateurs party claimed victory based on their own tally, raising questions about the election’s integrity.

The international community, represented by Abdou Abarry, urged all parties to exercise restraint.

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