N’DJAMENA: Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno died on Tuesday from wounds sustained in battle after three decades in power, the army said, opening a period of uncertainty in a country that is a key strategic ally of the West.

His son was immediately named transitional leader as head of a military council and both the government and parliament were dissolved, but the army vowed “free and democratic” elections after an 18-month transitional period.

The shocking news of Deby’s death came only the day after the 68-year-old career military man was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.

The army also announced a curfew and border closures.

Deby had ruled Chad with an iron fist since taking power on the back of a coup in 1990 but was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the troubled Sahel region.

The army said Deby had been commanding his forces at the weekend as they fought rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day, April 11.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2021

Opinion

Editorial

Misplaced priorities
Updated 19 Jul, 2024

Misplaced priorities

The government must call its APC at the earliest and invite all stakeholders to take part; this matter cannot be delayed further.
Oman terror attack
19 Jul, 2024

Oman terror attack

THE normally peaceful sultanate of Oman was shaken by sectarian terrorism on Monday when militants belonging to the...
Urban flooding
19 Jul, 2024

Urban flooding

THE provincial authorities have been taking precautionary measures, or so we have been told, to cope with emergency...
A way forward
Updated 17 Jul, 2024

A way forward

Before political leaders inflict more damage, they must give talks a chance.
Export delusions
Updated 18 Jul, 2024

Export delusions

Plummeting exports as a ratio of GDP is one of the major reasons driving the current economic slowdown and the balance-of-payments crisis.
Diversity in UK politics
17 Jul, 2024

Diversity in UK politics

THE recent UK elections have ushered in the most diverse parliament in the nation’s history. Under the leadership...