Chad’s president dies in rebel clashes, day after re-election
N’Djamena, Apr 20 (EFE).- Chad’s President Idriss Deby on Tuesday died after sustaining injuries in clashes with rebel forces, a day after he secured a sixth term in office, the central African country’s army said.
Military spokesperson Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a televised statement that Deby succumbed to wounds he sustained while he was “defending territorial integrity on the battlefield.”
A transitional council of military officers named Deby’s son, Mahamat, an interim president for the next 18 months and dissolved the parliament, the government and the constitution, according to local media outlets.
Authorities declared a 14-day national mourning and a curfew from 6pm to 5 am, as well as the closure of the country’s land and air borders, until further notice.
The announcement of Deby’s death at the age of 68 came a day after the national electoral commission said he won the presidential elections conducted on April 11 after he garnered 79.3% of the votes.
On election day, fighters from the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) carried out rebel incursion in a bid to overthrow the government of Deby.
The Libya-based military and political rebel movement said they claimed control of the northern province of Tibesti on April 13 and the western province of Kanem on April 18.
However, the Chadian military denied FACT’s claims and said more than 300 rebels were killed and over 150 others arrested during clashes in Kanem.
FACT, founded in 2016, announced in a statement Monday that at least 15 senior officials had been killed, wounded or went missing, with Deby’s name on list of those injured.