Chadian Opposition Lawmaker Is Arrested After Coup Attempt

Chadian authorities arrested opposition lawmaker Saleh Maki and “several” civilians and military personnel after stopping a coup attempt, government spokesman Hassan Sylla Bakari said.

The suspects had been planning the overthrow for four months prior to their arrests, Bakari said on national television in the capital, N’Djamena. As many as eight people were killed and at least 15 were injured in clashes between the plotters and security forces, Agence France-Presse reported, citing a person it didn’t identify.

“An attempt to destabilize the state was foiled,” Bakari says. A group of individuals “wanted to undermine the institutions of state.”

Chad, which produces 114,000 barrels of oil a day and has a $9.49 billion economy, has been ruled by President Idriss Deby since he seized power in a coup in December 1990. In 2008, 270 people were killed during fighting between government forces and rebel fighters who entered N’Djamena in an attempt to overthrow Deby, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Geneva-based medical charity.

Deby, who turns 61 this year, also survived another attack on his rule when army defectors tried to shoot down his aircraft while he was returning from a trip abroad in 2006.

N’Djamena was calm this morning, with increased security in the north and south of the city.