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Chad’s President Idriss Deby Dies Hours After Re-election

By Adedapo Adesanya

Chad’s President, Mr Idriss Deby, has died of injuries he suffered on the frontline with rebels, the country’s army said on Tuesday.

The country’s leader succumbed to death less than 24 hours after he was elected for a sixth term in office.

According to a spokesman for the West African country’s army, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, the late President sustained the injuries while commanding his army in fighting against rebels in the north over the weekend.

“The president of the republic, head of state, supreme head of the army, Idriss Déby Itno, has just breathed his last while defending the territorial integrity on the battlefield.

“It is with deep bitterness that we announce to the Chadian people the death this Tuesday, April 20, 2021, of the Marshal of Chad,” Mr Agouna said.

The 68-year-old Deby was projected on Monday to have won the latest presidential election in the country, the provisional results released yesterday showed.

Mr Déby, a career military officer, who seized power in 1990 in a coup, was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal last August.

Ministers and senior officers said on Monday that the head of state had visited the frontline between his army and a column of rebels who had launched an offensive from rear bases in Libya on election day, April 11.

The rebels, whom the army claimed to have defeated in the fighting, had said in a statement that Mr Déby had been wounded, but the information had not been confirmed by official sources.

Conflict in Chad

Chad has been facing various conflicts that caused damages and many deaths. This includes fighting against rebels and also inter-communal conflicts.

Minister of State and Minister Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic, Mr Kalzeubé Payimi Deubet, convened members of the government, technical advisers and special advisers of the President to brainstorm on the situation yesterday.

In particular, the deliberations were about the armed clashes between the rebels of the Front for Alternation and Concord in Chad (FACT) against the defence and security forces.

They also looked into inter-community violence in the province of Salamat.

Mr Deubet indicated that: “the real beating inflicted on the terrorists by the brave soldiers of the Chadian national army, the inter-community conflicts in Salamat and the mastery of communication in times of crisis are among others, the main points developed.“

He urged members of the government to “run the administration as it should and not give in to the sirens of disinformation.”

Regarding intercommunal violence in Salamat, he reassured that the situation is on the way to being brought under control.

“The perpetrators, co-perpetrators and accomplices will answer for their acts in court.”

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