The Front for the Salvation of the Republic (FSR), an armed Chadian opposition group, has recently opened a branch office in Tunis.
Captain Pilot Ismael Moussa, president of the FSR, spoke exclusively with Tunisia Live about the ambitions of the FSR in Tunisia and its aim to topple the current government in Chad, led by President Idriss Deby.
According to Moussa, “the FSR opted to settle in Tunisia, for the symbolism of the country that sparked the Arab Spring”. A permanent presence in Tunisia would not only allow the FSR to develop connections with the Arab and European countries, it would also exploit the lack of diplomatic ties between Tunisia and Chad. “There is no Chadian diplomatic representation in Tunisia except for the FSR,” Moussa said.
The FSR is an armed political group that has been fighting for the overthrow of the Chadian government since 2005. It has previously led an unsuccessful military initiative in Chad which, according to Moussa “failed because we were faced by the Chadian National Army which was backed by the former Libyan leader, Muammar Kaddafi at that time.”
Moussa is now calling for a popular, democratic uprising in the sub-Saharan nation in order to overthrow the incumbent president Deby. He warned Deby to not repress the social uprising, if it takes place, otherwise, “the FSR is ready to intervene to protect the civilians”.
Deby is currently serving his fifth 5-year presidency. In April 2011 he was re-elected with 88.66% of votes, in an election boycotted by the opposition and has survived years of rebellion in the east of the country.
The establishment of an FSR presence in Tunisia comes at a time of increased instability in Sub-Saharan Africa. An influx of weapons from Libya as well as the return of mercenaries who had fought for former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi’s have contributed to conflicts in a number of countries, most recently this week in Mali where a coup d’état occurred.