The Gulf state’s mediation role in Chad goes back as far as 2009, when it sponsored the signing of the “Doha Accord”.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani was awarded the Chadian National Order of Merit on Saturday for his country’s role in facilitating successful peace negotiations.
According to Qatar News Agency (QNA), President of Chad’s Transitional Military Council (TMC) Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno also awarded the amir for the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement last week.
Deby handed the award to Charge d’Affaires at Qatar’s embassy in Chad, Abdul Sattar Saleh Al-Ansari in N’Djamena.
Last week saw the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement in Qatar between government and rebel movements following five months of preparatory talks in the Gulf state.
Qatar was named as the mediator after consensus by parties at the talks.
The signing was chaired by Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani while his Chadian counterpart Mahamat Zene Cherif represented the African nation.
“History has taught us that the solution to the Chadian crisis by military force is ineffective, and that the only way is through constructive dialogue through the negotiating table and achieving a comprehensive political settlement among all segments of the people of the Republic of Chad,” said Sheikh Mohammed.
Qatar received global praise for facilitating the signing, including by rights agencies and states.
The agreement was crucial in paving the way for elections and was needed ahead of the national dialogue. The national dialogue is set to take place in Chad on 20 August following multiple delays as the parties in Doha failed to reach an agreement.
Speaking to the press after the signing, Chad’s foreign minister said that “Qatar harnessed all its capabilities to push the peace track ahead” through diplomacy. He added that “more than 1,000 people” will be present at the national dialogue in Chad.
Fighters of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) rebel group did not sign the peace accord. Last year, former Chadian President Idriss Deby was killed amid fighting between the government and FACT rebels.
For years, the group aimed to topple Deby.
Foreign minister Zene told the press in Doha that “those who rejected signing the agreement just missed a very big and important historical opportunity to be part of this process.”
In early 2021 Qatar and Chad restored diplomatic ties, after the latter cut off relations with the Gulf state amid a 2017 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) crisis.
Chad had accused Qatar of seeking to destabilise the Central African country through its neighbour Libya. In turn, Doha said N’Djamena was taking part in a “political blackmail against the State of Qatar”.
Qatar’s mediation role in Chad goes back as far as 2009, when it sponsored the signing of the “Doha Accord”, also known as the “Darfur agreement”, between Khartoum and N’Djamena.
The agreement, co-sponsored with Libya, was signed amid tensions between Sudan and Chad in 2008, with both countries accusing each other of supporting insurgent groups and rebel attacks inside their territories.
Chad has long accused Sudan of supporting rebels who sought to oust late president Deby, whereas Sudan accused Chad of supporting rebels in the western province of Darfur.
The Gulf state hosted various talks between conflicting parties, including the US and the Taliban in 2020.