Chad’s President, Idriss Deby has died of injuries suffered on the frontline while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel country.

The newly re-elected president died hours after electoral officials declared him as winner of the April 11th, presidential election, paving the way for him to stay in power for six more years after a 30-year rule.

According to the army, the president 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’s campaign manager revealed he postponed his victory speech to supporters and instead went to visit Chadian soldiers battling the rebels.

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

68-year-old Deby had ruled Chad for three decades but was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the troubled Sahel region, and is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

The army said a military council led by the late president’s 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general, would replace him.


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