Chad Governor Installs Sultan over Christian and Animist Populations

ICC Note: A Governor in Chad has established a Sultan, a religious and local leader, in a traditionally Christian area. This has caused fear and tension for the local Christians who see it as a way of enforcing Islam on them. Chad is already a majority Islamic country with about 60 percent being Muslim and 35 percent Christian.

07/23/2018 Chad (World Watch Monitor) – Chadian authorities have installed a sultan in the south Moyen-Chari region, increasing fears of further marginalisation among the Christian and Animist population. (Chad, like Nigeria, is roughly divided between a broadly Muslim north, and a broadly Christian and Animist south).

A sultan traditionally holds spiritual authority over his subjects, as well as a leadership role.

It’s nearly two years after the decision was first announced, because of disagreements over the need for a sultan over the supreme chief, the traditional leader in the area – whose position is inherited. Also, the candidate was not believed to be of a royal bloodline, and thus not regarded as eligible.

However, in June, during an inauguration ceremony of the new governor, in the regional capital of Sarh, the third town in the central African nation, the Minister of Territorial Administration, Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, installed Mahamat Moussa Bezo as Sultan.

“After the governor had been installed, people started moving out, thinking the ceremony was over. But to their great surprise, the MC called them back because there was another ceremony,” a local source, who wanted to stay anonymous, told World Watch Monitor.

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