Mike Natanael Norend Mandagie

Israel-Chad reconciliation is the end of Cold War

Chad President Mahamat Deby and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurate Chad's Embassy in Tel Aviv. Credit : IsraeliPM/Twitter
Chad President Mahamat Deby and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurate Chad's Embassy in Tel Aviv. Credit : IsraeliPM/Twitter

The restoration of diplomatic relations between Chad and Israel with the inauguration of the Chad Embassy in Tel Aviv has certainly gone through a long process of negotiation and looking from various points of view. Chad has thought about the pros and cons of restoring relations with Israel, and vice versa. Israel through Benjamin Netanyahu’s government has thought about the positive impact of normalizing relations with Chad. Image is something that Israel pursues in ensuring a good image in Africa. Until now, Israel is still involved in a conflict with Palestine and this conflict has triggered negative sentiments from Muslim-majority countries including countries in Central and North Africa. During Mahamat Déby’s tenure as transitional president, his task was to continue the work done by his father Mahamat Idris Déby and one of them was to restore diplomatic relations with Israel. With half of the progress in restoring diplomatic relations with Israel completed, under Mahamat Déby’s leadership, it has been completed one hundred per cent with the opening of the Chad Embassy in Tel Aviv.

As of 2021, Chad ranks 136th in the world in terms of GDP while Israel ranks 28th in the world. Packaged medicines are one of the main commodities imported by Chad. 47.8 million USD is the value of Chad’s imports of packaged medicines, making Chad the 149th largest importer of packaged medicines in the world. Medical instruments are one of the commodities exported by Israel and in 2021 it was recorded that Israel exported medical instruments worth 2.36 billion USD and made Israel the 14th largest medical instrument exporting country in the world. Chad and Israel can create mutual dependence and in this context, packaged medicines and medical instruments can be the subject of negotiations implemented through imports and exports between the two countries. If both countries see the long-term prospects of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries, exports and imports in the health sector can take place and will certainly bring benefits to both countries and customs duties in the export and import process can be negotiated.

The Chad Army High Command currently led by Azem Bermondo Agouna is still looking for alternative arms suppliers as opposed to the usual Eastern bloc such as Russia and Ukraine due to the significant damage done by the recent fighting with the FACT rebellion. The need for modernization will be proposed by the High Command of the Chad Army and the purchase process will be conducted by the Chad Ministry of Defense. The Transitional Military Council currently in power in Chad intends to modernise its arsenal and stop purchasing weapons from Eastern bloc sources such as Ukraine and Russia. The country has stated that it will modernize its military and that Chad will become a dominant country in terms of military because it uses equipment made in a country that is known for its sophistication in the production of equipment. Israel’s sophisticated defense industry is needed by Chad to modernise its military and technology transfer can occur between the two countries and can be established more casually when done bilaterally. The geographical conditions that exist in Chad and Israel can be said to have similarities. Both countries are located in areas with similar geographical conditions so that the military made and used by Israel can also be used in Chad.

Chad has an intelligence agency known as the Agence nationale de sécurité (ANS). This intelligence agency was established during the presidency of President Hissène Habré. A June attack in 2015 that killed nearly 50 people woke up Chad’s National Security Agency and all existing emergency services such as the army and police. It did not take long for the ANS intelligence agency to react, the terrorist network was dismantled and ten suspected members of the Boko Haram sect were arrested, tried, sentenced to death and shot on 29 August at a shooting range in northern N’Djamena. Intelligence co-operation is a core and crucial factor in combating terrorism, especially insurgents that threaten the security of the state. Valuable intelligence information is needed and can be shared with countries in need to prevent bloodshed. The death of the former president is the answer to how important cooperation between intelligence agencies is.

In the Middle East, Israel is currently facing a threat from Hamas. Hamas, founded in 1988, has a militant Islamist ideology. The group is supported by militant Islamic countries such as Iran and its functions mainly deal with military activities and distributing welfare. Defense alliances are one of the answers in the fight against terrorism and existing threats. The countries of Israel and Chad share the same problem of terrorism. Hundreds of people and even heads of state have lost their lives due to terrorism and insurgency.

During the leadership of President Mahamat Idriss Déby and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chad and Israel restored their diplomatic relations, marked by the inauguration of the Chad Embassy in Tel Aviv. This step can happen because Chad sees the potential for great benefits that will be obtained if it restores its diplomatic relations with Israel, and vice versa. Starting from Export-Import which will bring benefits to the country’s foreign exchange to modernisation in the field of defence can be done smoothly. Israel as a predominantly Jewish country can rebuild its good image in the Central and North African region, which is a predominantly Muslim region.

About the Author
Mike Natanael Norend Mandagie is a student of International Relations, Universitas Kristen Indonesia specialising in politics, law and security. During his time as a student, there are a number of achievements that have been made, namely, first place in the UCLG ASPAC Essay Competition with the title "China's Trade Ambition Through BRI", then publish an article in the foreign relations journal, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia with the title "SUSTAINABLE CONFLICT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SOUTH CHINA SEA", then publish an article in the International Paper Competition 2022 with the title "CORRUPTION IN INDONESIAN REFORMED ERA: CASES OF BRIBERY AND GRATIFICATION IN BUREAUCRACY", and many more.
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