Chad’s longest-serving leader has died from injuries sustained during a visit to the front lines of the fight against lesser-known rebels, the military announced Tuesday, just hours after announcing he had won an election that would give him another six years. a sentence. .
The military quickly announced the son of President IdrissDeby as interim leader of the Central African Republic, replacing his 68-year-old father, who ruled for more than three decades.Some observers immediately questioned the chain of events that led to Tuesday’s dramatic announcement on national radio and television.
Ayo Sogunro, a Nigerian lawyer from the South African-based human rights center, said that under Chadian law, the term of the incumbent president is not limited to his family members but to the National Assembly.
Speaking on state television on Tuesday, an army spokesman said Deby died of his injuries while visiting troops in the front line. Rebel forces from Chad’s Change for Change and Concord have been moving north from the capital N’Djamena in recent days.
The government and parliament have been dissolved, military spokesman AzemBermendaoAgouna said, adding that a military council would take over Chad in the next 18 months. He said the council would be led by Deby’s 37-year-old son, General MahamatIdrissDebyItno.
The US State Department has sent its condolences to the people of Chad and said the United States supports “the peaceful transfer of power in accordance with the Chadian constitution.” The commander of the U.S. military’s Africa Command, General Steven Townsend, said Tuesday that it was unclear what Deby’s death meant for U.S.-Chad relations but added that Deby’s son was leaning towards good relations with both France, which has a military base in Chad. , and the United States