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Chad President, Idriss Déby, Killed In Clashes With Rebels

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Chad’s long-serving President Idriss Deby has died from injuries suffered on the frontline, an African diplomatic source told CNN on Tuesday.
It comes following attacks in the north of the country by rebels.
Rebels of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (Front Pour l’Alternance et La Concorde au Tchad) (FACT) reported in a statement on Monday that Deby was injured and on the run.

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 have been dissolved. A military council will govern for the next 18 months.

Mr Déby, 68, was one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders. He first came to power in an armed uprising in 1990.

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

He had gone to the front line at the weekend to visit troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya.

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

The clashes with the army began on Saturday. An army general told Reuters news agency that 300 insurgents were killed and 150 captured. Five government soldiers were killed and 36 were injured, he said. The figures could not immediately be verified.

Mr Déby was a long-time ally of France and other Western powers in the battle against jihadist groups in 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.

Photo Credit: Getty

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