WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Black Friday Massacre in Chad where more than 125 pro-democracy protesters were killed by Chadian forces.
“Today, we stand with Chadians on the first anniversary of ‘Black Thursday.’ A year ago, under General Mahamat Deby’s command, Chadian security forces brutally killed more than 125 pro-democracy protesters. In the days following, Deby’s forces abducted, vanished, and tortured hundreds. A year later, there has been no accountability for these heinous acts.
“To honor the victims of ‘Black Thursday,’ the United States must reaffirm its commitment to human rights, democracy, and the rule of law by taking decisive action where the Chadian junta has failed. The Biden Administration’s actions should include imposing travel bans and financial sanctions on individuals involved in the ‘Black Thursday’ atrocities; revoking Chad’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) eligibility due to the junta’s actions, which are at odds with the statute’s fundamental qualification criteria; and reevaluating U.S. security assistance to Chad.
“Recent coups in West Africa and the Sahel raise grave concerns as to whether U.S. security assistance jeopardizes long-term U.S. national security interests and the stability of our partner countries if we don’t take concurrent action to support human rights, democracy, and good governance. Chad and its military government are no exception.”