A dramatic turn of events in Chad! The more than 30-year-old president, on the verge of being widely re-elected, has died after being wounded in fighting against rebels. “Idriss Déby Itno has just given his last breath by defending territorial integrity on the battlefield. It is with deep bitterness that we announce to the Chadian people the death on Tuesday April 20, 2021 of Marshal of Chad ”, announced the spokesman of the army, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, in a press release read to the Chadian television antenna.
Shortly afterwards, the army announced on state radio that one of the president’s sons, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, commander of the presidential guard, had been appointed head of a military council to take over from the president. late president.
The night before, the Chadian electoral commission had announced that the indestructible president, in power since 1990, had been re-elected with 79.32% of the vote. There was no doubt about this electoral victory after the locked election of April 11. But the haste of the authorities to announce still partial results had challenged.
On polling day, a rebel movement carried out its threats by entering northern Chad from Libya. In recent days, the Chadian Front for Alternation and Concord (FACT) had progressed through the desert to Kanem province, just a few hundred kilometers from the capital N’Djamena.
Idriss Déby, who himself came to power by arms, had personally gone to the front. Despite the victorious communiques of his army, reporting hundreds of rebels killed, it was in these circumstances that the president was wounded. Idriss Déby had repeatedly been confronted with rebellions. In 2018, his regime was saved at the last minute by a French military intervention, while the rebels were under the windows of the presidential palace.
Over the course of his reign, Idriss Déby has made himself indispensable in the eyes of Westerners, and in particular of France. Chad indeed hosts several French military bases. He is a key ally of Paris in the fight against jihadists in the Sahel. Despite its instability, Chad has not hesitated to send its soldiers to neighboring countries, such as Mali and Nigeria, to fight jihadist groups.