Opposition parties in Chad have condemned a planned two-day visit by France's far-right leader Marine Le Pen to the former French colony on Tuesday 21 March.
National Front leader Le Pen holds a series of anti-European Union views and claims she would help France retain control of its borders. In a similar vein, Le Pen, who is running for the presidency in France's 23 April election, has said she wants to see an end to dual citizenship for French citizens from nations outside of Europe.
Political parties of the Chadian opposition, civil society movements and representatives of the Chadian diaspora are protesting against the French politician's visit to the capital N'Djamena, describing her as a xenophobe.
The French politician's anti-immigration stance make her unpopular in most of French-speaking Africa.
Opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo in a statement said that his party, the Union Nationale pour le Développement et le Renouveau (National Union for Development and Renewal, UNDR), "categorically opposes the visit of Marine Le Pen, racist and xenophobic candidate of the extreme right in the presidential election in France."
Le Pen is expected to visit some of the 4,000 French soldiers from the Operation Barkhane operating in five countries in the Sahel, but whose base is N'Djamena.
The UNDR, however, claims Le Pen is travelling to the Central African nation to ask for campaign funds from President Idriss Déby, and urged Chad to not show any sympathy for her candidacy.
Abakar Assileck Halata, coordinator of the Patriotes de la diaspora tchadienne (Patriots of the Chadian Diaspora), who claims Déby stole the elections, echoed Kebzabo's allegations.
"(Le Pen's) visit can be explained by a tacit support of the favourite candidate of the presidential elections and the continuity of France's African policy, which undermines the hope of the African youth and consolidates dictatorships in place," Halata said earlier this week.
"Marine Le Pen, with her bitter speeches towards foreigners and especially Africans, have found sympathisers who wrongly accuse foreigners of being guilty of their misfortune."
Kebzabo, an MP, and several other opposition leaders previously denounced the fact Le Pen was the first French personality to congratulate Déby after he won the Chadian presidential on 10 April 2016.
Neither Le Pen not the Chadian government have commented on the reports.