CHAD PEACE TALKS START IN QATAR

Chad’s military government and dozens of opposition groups started peace talks in Qatar as a first step towards ending a rebellion and holding elections.

The landlocked African nation was thrown into turmoil by the killing of longtime leader Idriss Deby Itno in battle with rebels in the country’s north last April.

His son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, took over the country after his death, fronting a 15-member military junta and vowing to hold free elections.

Chad’s Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke and African Union Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat told the opening of the conference that both sides would have to make “concessions” for the talks to succeed.

But the process risks being protracted and complicated.

Diplomats said these “precursor” talks could take weeks and that a planned “national dialogue” due to start on May 10 may have to be delayed.

Under the younger Deby’s plan, the dialogue would be a prelude to agreeing on a new constitution and then holding elections.

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