Mahamat Deby, son of slain Chad President, to rule for 18 months: Army

Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno

In this file photo taken on April 11, 2021 Four Star General and head of the Republican Guard in Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno (C), 37, son of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno is seen at a polling station in N'djamena.

Photo credit: Marco Longari |AFP

Following the death of Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno earlier on Tuesday, the army has suspended the government, the Constitution and Parliament.

The army has also installed Mahamat Deby, the son of the slain leader, as the country's President for 18 months. 

"The army announces that from now on,  the government, the Constitution and Parliament are suspended. The army also announces that the security situation is under control,” its spokesperson said in a statement.

Freshly re-elected for a sixth term, Deby succumbed to injuries while leading army operations in the face of a rebellion from Libya, as confirmed by the Chadian army.

Deby had just been re-elected with 79 per cent of the votes in an election that the opposition boycotted. 

Anti-terrorism fight

A strongman from the Central African region, Deby had ruled Chad since 1990. He was France's ally for 31 years.

In an Africa affected by the rise of terrorism, the late President was seen as the bulwark against jihadism and an indispensable man in the fight against terrorism.

According to rebel leader Mahamat Mahadi Ali, Déby went into combat on Sunday and Monday.

Fighting took place near Nokou in Kanem, a region located in the center west of the country. This is where the Chadian president was reportedly wounded on the battlefield on Sunday.

AU concerns

Earlier, the African Union expressed concerns about what it called “foreign rebels” attacking the country.

“The chairperson of the commission strongly condemns these acts of aggression, which constitute an unacceptable attack on the constitutional order and stability of the Republic of Chad, at a time when the country has just organised regular and peaceful presidential elections,” said Mousa Faki Mahamat, a Chadian diplomat who heads the African Union Commission.

“The chairperson of the commission reiterates the AU's unwavering commitment to peaceful solutions to African problems through dialogue and consensus building.”

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