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Chad President Idriss Deby killed on the front lines, and his son to take over

Chad President Idriss Deby was killed on the front lines, and his son would take over as president
FILE PHOTO: Ludovic Marin /Pool via REUTERS

Idriss Deby killed, after governing the country for more than 30 years and was a key Western ally in the struggle against Islamist militants in Africa, Chad President was killed in the north by rebels.

Mahamat Kaka, Deby’s son, was appointed interim president by a transitional council of military officers, according to spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna on state television.

President Idriss Deby of Chad has been killed in clashes with rebels, according to the army, ending his 30-year reign of terror in the Central African country.

An army spokesman said Deby died of injuries suffered while visiting soldiers on the front lines on state television on Tuesday.

In recent days, a rebel group in Chad known as the Front for Change and Concord has advanced from the north toward the capital, N’Djamena.

Deby, 68, rose to power in a coup in 1990 and went on to become one of Africa’s longest-serving presidents, enduring several coups and rebellions.

After rebels centered across Libya’s northern border advanced hundreds of kilometers (miles) south toward the capital N’Djamena, Deby, who frequently accompanied soldiers on the battlefield in his military fatigues, paid a visit to troops on the frontlines on Monday.

A nationwide curfew has been enforced from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m., with the government and National Assembly dissolved.

His death came a day after he was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that would have given him a sixth term.

The vote was boycotted by the majority of the opposition, who had long protested about his authoritarian law.

In 2018, Deby forced through a new constitution that would have allowed him to remain in office until 2033 while also restoring term limits.

He was named Marshal last year and said ahead of the election last week, “I know in advance that I will win, as I have for the last 30 years.”

He was grappling with growing public dissatisfaction about his handling of Chad’s oil resources and crackdowns on critics.

Deby, on the other hand, received 79 percent of the vote in the election results declared on Monday.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed Is a Forsige breaking news reporter and editor, covering Europe, Africa, and the U.S. from Abuja.

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