Chadian President Idriss Deby Dies on Battlefield after Re-election
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 has revealed on Tuesday.
The stunning announcement came just hours after electoral officials had declared Deby, 68, the winner of the April 11 presidential election, paving the way for him to stay in power for six more years.
Deby “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
To fill the gap created by Derby’s death, General Mahamat Kaka, the son of the deceased Chadian leader, has been named interim head of state, the army spokesman said.
The news came a day after Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, won a sixth term, as per provisional results released on Monday. Deby won 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, according to the results that were announced..
Deby was supposed to make his postponed his victory speech but deceided to postpone it and instead went to visit Chadian soldiers battling rebels, according to his campaign manager.
The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), which is based across the northern frontier with Libya, attacked a border post on Election Day and then advanced hundreds of kilometres south.
But it suffered a setback over the weekend when the country’s military spokesman Agouna told the Reuters news agency that army troops killed more than 300 fighters and captured 150 on Saturday in Kanem province, around 300 kilometres (185 miles) from the capital Ndjamena.
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