Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani; Chad's Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Mahamat Zene Cherif; and Chairperson of African Union Commission Moussa Faki (first left) at the peace agreement signing ceremony. PICS: Rajan Vadakkemuriyil
Paving way for a comprehensive national reconciliation dialogue, Chadian parties yesterday signed ‘Doha Peace Agreement and the Participation of Politico-Military Movements in the Chadian National, Inclusive, and Sovereign Dialogue’.
The agreement was signed under the auspices of the State of Qatar and in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, a number of foreign ministers and officials of a number of countries. The representatives of the African Union and regional and international organisations were also present on the occasion.
Qatar has been hosting Chad Peace Negotiations since March 13 this year with the participation of representatives of the Transitional Military Council and Chadian opposition movements.
The pact was signed on behalf of the transitional government in Chad by Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Chadians Abroad H E Mahamat Zene Cherif, and representatives of the Politico-Military Movements in Chad.
The agreement paves the way for the start of the national, inclusive, and sovereign dialogue in Chad in the capital, N’Djamena, which aims to achieve comprehensive national reconciliation.
In his speech at the signing ceremony, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed Qatar’s deep appreciation and valuation of the delegations’ efforts to make the negotiations a success and reach the agreement.
“It reflects their keenness and awareness of the importance of ending the war phase and achieving the aspirations of the Chadian people for lasting peace.”
He added: “History informs us of the ineffectiveness of resolving the Chadian crisis by military force and that the only way is the constructive dialogue through the negotiating table for achieving a comprehensive political settlement among all spectrum of the people of the Republic of Chad.”
The Deputy PM said Qatar has not hesitated for a moment to accept mediation and to host negotiations between the Chadian parties in the belief that true reconciliation of the Chadian people is the firm guarantee for sustainable peace, stability and building the state of law and development in Chad.
“It is no secret that the negotiations faced many challenges which were addressed through your efforts, and in implementation of the directives of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. We appreciate the efforts of the member states of the Follow-up Committee that contributed to the success of these negotiations.”
He said all Chadian parties must transcend the past and its pains, focus on the future and its hopes and not forget the lessons learnt from the past.
The Deputy Prime Minister added that this requires everyone to embark on the future with firm belief in the right of the people of Chad to security, stability and unity and achieving the desired development.
He expressed Qatar’s thanks and appreciation to the transitional government and the politico-military movements that signed the agreement, expressing hope that other groups will join the march of reconciliation and peace.
“Qatar strongly looks forward that the initial Peace Agreement we are celebrating today will be an important turning point towards stability and prosperity for the Chadian people and the achievement of their goals in security, development and prosperity.”
Representatives of Chadian political parties signing the agreement
He emphasised that everyone is aware of the magnitude of the challenges to achieving the desired peace in Chad through the negotiations and national dialogue to be held in N’Djamena. He called on the international community to intensify regional and international efforts to avail itself of this historic opportunity to make the national dialogue a success with a view to achieving the desired peace for the Chadian people.
“Qatar will spare no effort in cooperating with all Chadian parties and international community to achieve the desired goals of these negotiations and national dialogue,” he added.
“Out of Qatar’s firm belief that the sustainability of peace is a shared responsibility of the international family, we reiterate that Qatar will spare no effort to continue its active engagement with all international and regional efforts in this regard,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister called on countries that are still experiencing conflicts which threaten their security and stability, as well as international peace and security, to open up to initiatives aimed at laying the foundations for peace through constructive dialogue that achieves peoples’ aspirations for security, stability and decent livelihoods.
The agreement constitutes a first step towards Chadian reconciliation, and includes measures to restore confidence, peace, national harmony and security.
These measures include the complete and final cessation of hostilities, transitional government’s commitment not to carry out any military or police operation by the defence and security forces against the politico-military movements that signed the agreement, wherever they are in Chad’s neighbouring countries, the commitment of armed political movements not to carry out any infiltration, armed action or attack of any kind against the transitional government and the commitment of all parties not to carry out any hostile, retaliatory or harassing act on the basis of ethnicity, political affiliation, or any other basis. The agreement includes other measures for disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, confidence-building and security arrangements and inclusive national dialogue in N’Djamena, as well as mechanisms for following up and implementing this agreement.
In a recorded video message, Secretary-General of the United Nations H E Antonio Guterres thanked Qatar for hosting the negotiations between the Chadian parties, which led to the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement.
The UN Secretary-General said the agreement is historic and will enable — with adherence to it — to achieve a lasting peace in Chad, calling upon the international community to provide the necessary assistance to Chad in this critical period.
Chairperson of African Union Commission Moussa Faki expressed his congratulations to Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for the efforts of Qatar, which resulted in the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission reviewed Qatar’s role and efforts in the field of international mediation, especially between the Afghan parties, and in Darfur in Sudan.
“The agreement between the Chadian parties was reached after five months of negotiations. Congratulations to Doha, the city of peace,” Faki added.