Chad’s newly re-elected President Idriss Deby has died of injuries suffered on the frontline in the Sahel country’s north, where he had gone to visit soldiers battling rebels, an army spokesman said on Tuesday. Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
Idriss Déby, president of Chad since 1990, was killed while visiting troops battling a northern rebel group, an army spokesman announced on Tuesday.
The big picture: Just one day earlier, Déby had been declared the winner of a sixth presidential term. As the election was held, rebels were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena, from Chad’s frontier with Libya. The government said Monday that Déby, 68, would join the troops fighting the “terrorists.”
- Déby, who first came to power in a military uprising, was accused of squandering Chad’s oil resources and ruling with an iron fist. Chad is one of the poorest countries in Africa.
- He won 79% of the vote in the Apr. 11 election, which was boycotted by top opposition figures.
- The circumstances of Déby’s death remain unclear aside from the army’s statement on state TV. Idriss Deby
According to an army spokesperson, Déby had succumbed to his injuries on 20 April 2021, while commanding his army against FACT rebels in the north of Chad during the Northern Chad offensive, at the age of 68.The Chadian Parliament was dissolved upon his death, and a Transitional Military Council was formed.
The state of play: The U.S. evacuated its embassy amid the rebel advance, which the Chadian army claimed to have pushed back in heavy fighting over the weekend.