controversy over the place given to customary rules in criminal law

controversy over the place given to customary rules in criminal

The Sultan of Ennedi East, a province of Chad, and around forty canton chiefs signed a text regulating conflicts in total contradiction with the rules of the Republic, according to the Chadian authorities who canceled it in early January 2022. Such agreements have already been signed in the past and have caused outrage. If the diyya is a practice that has been happening in Muslim communities for centuries, it now divides all of Chadian society.

With our correspondent in Ndjamena, Aurélie Bazzara-Kibangula

In Dar Billiat, in the province of Ennedi, a thief risked five years in prison and a fine of 500,000 CFA francs. The culprit of a murder, he could be sentenced to ten years in prison and compensation of 100 camels to the family of the victim.

The Sultan goes beyond his traditional role

But these regulations, established in early December by the sultan of Dar Billiat, Sidick Timan Deby, do not respect the laws of the Republic according to the government. The authorities therefore canceled the text in a note sent to the governor of Ennedi, specifying that the sultan exceeded his traditional role by setting prison sentences.

Customary rules cannot replace criminal law », Explains the Minister of Justice. Mahamat Ahmat Alhabo recalls that the diyya is only civil reparation but that in no case does it erase the offense.

Regulate to appease

According to a canton chief who signed the Dar-Billiat text, regulating conflicts in the Ennedi is however necessary to appease the province where cases of cattle theft can lead to blood feuds. But also necessary, he says, ” to compensate for government services that are virtually absent in the province. “

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