Chadian President Idris Deby has died at the age of 68 while defending his nation from rebels. Deby was pronounced dead on Tuesday after suffering from gunshot wound while at battlefield fighting against rebels.
The military through national television and radio announced the death of Deby who has ruled the African nation for three decades.
Idris Deby was recently declared the winner of presidential election that took place in the nation on April 11. The victory at the just concluded election paved way for him to stay in power for the next six years.
An 18-month transitional council will be led by Deby’s 37-year-old son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, said the military, which also imposed a nightly curfew of 6 p.m.. Latimes reported.
“In the face of this worrying situation, the people of Chad must show their attachment to peace, to stability and to national cohesion,” Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouma said.
The circumstances of Deby’s death could not immediately be independently confirmed because of the remote location. It was not known why the president would have visited the area or participated in ongoing clashes with the rebels who opposed his rule. The military said Deby had taken “the heroic lead in combat operations against terrorists who had come from Libya.” After being wounded in battle, he was taken to the capital, N’Djamena, the general announced.
However, some foreign observers questioned how a head of state could have been killed, saying it cast doubt on his protective guard. Chad’s military had acknowledged only five deaths in weekend fighting in which it said it had killed 300 rebels.
“We still don’t have the whole story,” Laith Alkhouri, a global intelligence advisor, told the Associated Press. “It raises concerns regarding the security forces’ assessment of the clashes and their intelligence regarding the severity of the situation.”