Chad President Idriss Deby killed on frontline

Chad’s President Idriss Déby has died suddenly in clashes with rebels within the north of the country at the weekend, the military has said on state TV.

On Monday, provisional results from the election on 11 April projected he would win a sixth term in office, with 80% of the vote.

The government and parliament are dissolved. A military council will govern for subsequent 18 months.

Mr Déby, 68, was one among Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

He first came to power in an armed uprising in 1990.

Africa Live: Updates on President Déby’s death

Mr Déby “breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”, a military general said during a statement read out on state TV.

He had gone to the battlefront at the weekend to go to troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya.

The military council are going to be led by the late president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, 37, a four-star general.

The rebels, from a gaggle calling itself Fact (the Front for Change and Concord in Chad), attacked a border post on polling day . They were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena, several hundred kilometres to the south.

The clashes with the military began on Saturday. a military general told Reuters press agency that 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured. Five government soldiers were killed and 36 were injured, he said. The figures couldn’t immediately be verified.

Mr Déby was a long-time ally of France and other Western powers within the battle against jihadist groups within the Sahel region of Africa. However, there has been growing unhappiness over his government’s management of Chad’s oil resources.

During the election he campaigned on a platform of bringing peace and security to the region.



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