Chadian police arrested more than 60 students and schoolchildren Monday as they protested in N’Djamena against austerity measures slashing their teachers’ pay, said an AFP journalist on the scene.
Police dispersed gatherings of young people in the capital with tear-gas grenades and turned out in riot gear to patrol key street junctions and certain schools and colleges, the journalist said.
“The police went ahead with the arrest of more than 60 pupils who are being held by the crime squad” police spokesman Colonel Paul Manga told AFP, adding that “several cars have been stoned”.
All primary and secondary schools in N’Djamena, along with higher education institutions, were closed on Monday morning after the main higher education union called for a protest against civil service pay cuts imposed by the government this month.
The Union of Teachers of Chad (SET) and Union of Trade Unions of Chad (UST) went into a general assembly meeting in the morning, a member of one of the unions told AFP.
Chadian government employees have in the past few days seen a drop in their monthly salary because of the new Budget Act 2018, which strips away some of their bonuses and allowances.
The large Sahel nation has become an oil exporter since 2003, but almost half the population of 14 million still lives below the poverty line, according to the World Bank.