Chad on Tuesday abolished the death penalty for terrorist acts, quashing an exception that was on the books for four years, Justice Minister Djimet Arabi told KnowAfrika.
The Sahel country passed legislation in 2016 to abolish capital punishment, but made an exception for perpetrators of terrorism.
Arabi, who proposed the amendment, said the vote was unanimous and the law would come into force once it is approved by President Idriss Deby Itno, whose party enjoys a huge majority in parliament.
The change is “aimed at harmonising our laws in line with all the countries of the G5 Sahel Group,” the minister said.
Chad’s military is a key part of the 5,000-strong G5 force alongside Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and Mauritania that cooperates with French troops to combat a growing Islamist insurgency.
The last execution carried out in Chad was in August 2015 when 10 suspected members of the Islamist group Boko Haram based in neighbouring Nigeria were shot dead.
Human rights lawyer Jean Bosco Manga praised Tuesday’s decision, saying: “The logic of killing a man to punish him for having taken the life of another is absurd.”
Boko Haram’s insurgency has killed 36,000 people and displaced nearly two million in northeastern Nigeria since it began, according to the UN.
Ninety-two Chadian soldiers were killed last month in the deadliest attack ever by Boko Haram jihadists on armed forces in the country.
The attack was part of an expanding jihadist campaign in the vast, marshy Lake Chad area, where the borders of Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge.