Chad President Idriss Deby dies on the frontline fighting rebels, son named as next president

Idriss Deby

Chad President Idriss Deby is dead.

Deby died on the frontline while fighting Chadian rebels.

He succumbed to injuries suffered on the frontline in the Sahel country’s north, where he had gone to visit soldiers battling rebels, an army spokesman said on Tuesday.

Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.

The army said Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.

The army said a military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby, a four-star general, would replace him. A curfew has been imposed and the country’s borders have been shut in the wake of the sudden death of the president, army said.

Idriss Deby

The shock announcement came a day after Deby, who came to power in a rebellion in 1990, won a sixth term, as per provisional results released on Monday. Deby took 79.3 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the results showed.

Deby postponed his victory speech to supporters and instead went to visit Chadian soldiers battling rebels, according to his campaign manager.

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