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Chad’s president, Idriss Deby, killed while fighting rebels

April 20, 2021(Nyamilepedia) — The Chadian president, Idriss Deby, who ruled his country with an iron fist for 30 years was killed on Monday, April 19, 2021 while fighting rebels in the northern part of the country.

Late Chadian President Idris Deby visiting troops at the front line(Photo credit: file)
Late Chadian President Idris Deby visiting troops at the front line(Photo credit: file)

The 68 year old came to power through a rebellion that was backed by western powers in 1990 and for the last 30 years he has maintained power through iron fist making him one of the longest-ruling African leaders.

Deby’s death was announced on a live broadcast by the army spokesman, Gen. Azem Bermendoa Agouna, who declared that the president, Marshal Idriss Deby Itno, has died after taking a heroic decision to fight in defense of the country’s institutions.

“Marshal Idriss Deby Itno, as he did each time that the institutions of the republic were gravely threatened, took control of operations during the heroic combat led against the terrorists from Libya. He was wounded during the fighting and died once repatriated to N’Djamena,” Bermendoa said.

The Chadian president’s death was announced just one day after winning a democratic election that would have seen him ruling the country for the sixth term.

Although the elections were boycotted by most of the opposition parties, Idris’ supporters were at the height of  celebration in the capital when Idris was nursing his wounds in the battle field.

Idris took a bold decision to visit the troops at the frontlines after he learned that a rebel group had crossed the borders into Chad from Libya.

Attempts to rush him to the capital, N’Djamena, for better treatment faded as Idris breathed his last breathe.

His son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, who is just one year younger than his father was when he took power in 1990, was named the interim president by a transitional council causing fear that the young Idriss could take another 30 years or more in power.

According to Djimadoum Tirayna, vice president of the Transitional Military Council, the military council will return power to a civilian government through free and fair democratic elections that are expected to be held in 18 months,

The Military Council announced that the government and National Assembly have been dissolved and a nationwide curfew are imposed from dust to dawn, 6 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Late Chadian President Marshall Idris Deby presenting at the UN General Assembly(Photo credit: courtesy)
Late Chadian President Marshall Idris Deby presenting at the UN General Assembly(Photo credit: courtesy)

Although Idris had a huge support from America and France, his death could deepen the crisis that has frustrated the central African country for over 30 years.

While the rebels are celebrating their victory against the president’s troops they are threatening to advance to the capital.

“Chad is not a monarchy. There can be no dynastic devolution of power in our country,” The rebels, the Libya-based Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), bowed.

On the government side, the military is divided as some military generals in support of the oppositions and civilians.

Responding to Idris’ death, the leader of the main opposition, Saleh Kebzabo, who boycotted the elections although he finished second in 2016, called on the military to agree to a national dialogue that may see a power sharing arrangement.

“They will be obliged because of the internal political pressure,” he told Reuters. “We represent an internal force that cannot be ignored, neither by the military nor by the rebels.”

Idris changed the constitution in 2018 with hopes that he would stay in power until 2033 and as he headed to the battle field, he was confident that he was going to win the elections.

“I know in advance that I will win, as I have done for the last 30 years.” Idris said on April 11, 2021.

According to the electoral commission, who announced the results on Monday, Idris won the elections by 79%.

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