A four-star general who is a son of Chad’s slain president Idriss Deby Itno will replace him at the head of a military council, the army announced on Tuesday.
“A military council has been set up headed by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,” the army’s spokesman, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, said on state radio.
This was shortly after the announcement that the newly re-elected president had died of wounds while fighting rebels in the north of Chad.
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The shocking announcement of Idriss Deby’s death came only the day after the 68-year-old was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.
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.
Deby “has just breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield,” army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
Deby had ruled Chad for three decades but was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the troubled Sahel region.