Gov’t orders Gordon Kricke to leave country within 48 hours for ‘non-respect of diplomatic customs’, ministry says.
Chad’s government has ordered the German ambassador to leave the country within 48 hours, it said in a statement.
“This decision of the government is motivated by the discourteous attitude and the non-respect of diplomatic customs,” the country’s communication ministry said on Twitter late on Friday.
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Government spokesman Aziz Mahamat Saleh urged the ambassador to “leave Chadian territory within 48 hours”.
Two Chadian government sources told the Reuters news agency that Ambassador Gordon Kricke had criticised delays in holding elections after the coup, and a ruling last year that will allow interim military leader Mahamat Idriss Deby to run in elections in 2024.
Germany’s foreign ministry did not comment on Kricke’s expulsion, but a source familiar with the ministry’s thinking told Reuters that the move was “absolutely incomprehensible” and that it was in contact with Chadian authorities.
Kricke has been in the role since July 2021. He has previously served as a diplomat in Niger, Angola and the Philippines. He was also a special representative for Germany in the unstable Sahel.
A government source told AFP, on condition of anonymity, that Kricke was seen as “interfering too much” in the governance of the country, and making divisive remarks.
He had been warned on several occasions, the source added.
Military leaders in the Central African country originally promised an 18-month transition to elections when Deby seized power after his father, President Idriss Deby, was killed on the battlefield during a conflict with rebels, ending decades of authoritarian rule.
But last year, the military government extended the timeline by two years, delaying elections until October 2024, sparking protests in which dozens of civilians were killed, and worrying regional powers and the United States who have warned against extending military rule.
Many diplomats in the country, which borders Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Central African Republic and Sudan, sharply criticised the violence.
The German embassy joined others, such as France, Spain and The Netherlands, in expressing its concern about the delayed return to democracy.