It was ultimately the German Ambassador that was expelled from Chad and not the Russian one despite the US claiming a little over a month ago that Moscow was plotting to kill its president. He didn’t extend credence to those reports otherwise Russia’s representative would have already been kicked out of the country. By ordering the German Ambassador’s expulsion, however, Chad just signaled that it now fears that its traditional Western partners are ones who are truly conspiring against it.
Chad’s expulsion of the German Ambassador for his “impolite attitude and the non-respect of diplomatic customs”, which reports suggested was a euphemism for his meddling in its internal affairs, wasn’t what the US expected when it reportedly passed along intelligence about Russia in late February. The Wall Street Journal wrote at the time that American officials informed their Chadian counterparts about Moscow’s alleged plots to arm anti-government rebels and even assassinate the president.
There were reasons to be skeptical of this at the time, not least because the Russian Embassy in N’Djamena warned in January about Western efforts to divide these two states, especially after Moscow shared its expectation that the Chadian President will attend summer’s second Russia-Africa Summit. To be sure, however, bilateral relations have come a long way since their low point in September 2021 when the Chadian Foreign Minister claimed that Wagner posed a threat to his country’s interests.
Its presence in the neighboring countries of the Central African Republic (CAR) and Libya was allegedly being exploited to arm anti-government rebels, according to him, hence why US spies probably thought that Chad would fall for a remixed version of this narrative. His words led to the conclusion that “Chad Wants To Lead The Charge Against Russia’s Inroads In Françafrique” for several self-interested reasons, not least of which was to ensure Paris’ continued support for the authorities amidst rising discontent.
Everything radically changed in Africa over the last 18 months since then, however. France’s “sphere of influence” in the Central and Western parts of the continent has been shattered as a result of Russia’s successful “Democratic Security” policies in the CAR and Mali, with Paris now needing N’Djamena much more than the inverse. Furthermore, not a single African country complied with the West’s demands to sanction Moscow for its special operation in Ukraine, thus exposing the limits of its influence nowadays.
These interconnected developments contributed to changing Chad’s perceptions of Russia’s rising role in Africa, hence the possibility of its president attending summer’s second Russia-Africa Summit. It also accounts for why this country didn’t fall for the US’ claims that Moscow is meddling in its affairs, instead choosing to expel the German Ambassador a little over a month later instead of the Russian one like Washington likely expected would happen after sharing its so-called “intelligence”.
To be clear, there’s still a chance that some influential forces in Chad could do the geopolitical bidding of their country’s traditional French patron by lobbying for decisionmakers to authorize an anti-Russian provocation of some sort, but it’s important to point out that this hasn’t yet happened. The preceding observation extends credence to the conclusion that Chad’s perceptions of Russia are changing for the better, so much so that it didn’t fall for the US’ latest attempt to divide-and-rule them.
This is admittedly impressive since Chad is a bastion of French influence in Africa, but as was earlier written, it’s nowadays the case that France needs Chad more than the inverse after Paris’ “sphere of influence” in the Central and Western parts of the continent was shattered over the last 18 months. N’Djamena can now at least in theory consider demanding more aid and other sorts of benefits from France in exchange for continuing to host its forces without having to do its regional bidding like before.
Chadian officials can also more confidently confront the West since the scenario of the latter initiating any serious deterioration in their ties is no longer all that troubling because their country could just shift towards Russia in that event like the CAR, Mali, and a growing number of others are presently doing. In fact, this pivot could be held above their heads as a Damocles’ sword for squeezing more benefits from that de facto New Cold War bloc, which fears the consequences of pushing Chad into Russia’s arms.
Expelling an ambassador is a major move, however, let alone a traditionally Western-aligned African country doing this to one who represents the EU’s de facto leader. For that reason, this development probably wasn’t the result of a failed effort by Chad to get more money from Germany. Rather, it’s most likely the case that reports about that official’s meddling in his host state’s internal affairs are accurate, hence why N’Djamena took this unprecedented step.
The authorities want to avoid a repeat of last October’s deadly unrest that was officially driven by discontent over them delaying their country’s democratic transition but was exploited by certain forces to carry out a spree of violence across the capital. The West specializes in organizing Color Revolutions so it might have been the case that the recently expelled German Ambassador was trying to initiate another round of similar unrest to pressure the Chadian President against possibly visiting Russia in July.
His attendance at the second Russia-Africa Summit would be a coup de grace for Moscow by proving that its pragmatic engagement with the continent has succeeded in turning the leaders of traditionally Western-aligned countries like Chad into important partners who refuse to do third parties’ bidding. It would be Russia’s top diplomatic victory over the West since NATO began waging its proxy war in Ukraine to have him and other such leaders all meet with President Putin in the latter’s hometown.
Moscow has no reason to meddle in any of these countries’ affairs and thus risk spoiling this opportunity, especially not with Chad, which previously positioned itself as France’s vanguard force for pushing back against Russia all across Paris’ “sphere of influence”. The West, however, has every reason to meddle via disinformation disguised as “intelligence” and the cultivation of Color Revolution pressure in a desperate attempt to preemptively avert its rival’s impending diplomatic victory.
That’s why it was ultimately the German Ambassador that was expelled from Chad and not the Russian one despite the US claiming a little over a month ago that Moscow was plotting to kill its president. He didn’t extend credence to those reports otherwise Russia’s representative would have already been kicked out of the country. By ordering the German Ambassador’s expulsion, however, Chad just signaled that it now fears that its traditional Western partners are ones who are truly conspiring against it.