Chad’s president, Idriss Déby, died due to injuries from the battleground after clashing with northern rebels. Déby was on a visit to his troops that were fighting armed rebels from the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) group. FACT rebels intended to reach Chad’s capital city, N’Djamena, in hopes of overthrowing Déby. They arrived at the border after crossing over from Libya, where they took base as an opposing rebellious entity.
Chad’s military was attempting to stop the rebels from advancing to the capital city when Déby was killed. Azem Bermendao Agouna, a spokesperson from the Chadian army, said, “The president of the republic, head of state, supreme head of the army, Idriss Déby Itno, has just breathed his last while defending the territorial integrity on the battlefield. It is with deep bitterness that we announce to the Chadian people the death this Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 of the Marshal of Chad”. A funeral was held for Déby in N’Djamena and was attended by thousands of individuals and world leaders from various countries including Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Mali, and France.
Déby held on to Chad’s leadership for more than 30 years, after commanding a military coup in the 1990s when he was an army officer. After putting on a suit and leaving the uniform behind, Déby has won the presidency ever since the day he stepped into office. The latest win being weeks before his death with an election victory of more than 80% of the votes. After his death, power is now in the hands of his son, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, an army general. The 37-year-old son will be in control for 18 months until an election takes place.
Déby’s death created a tangled circumstance for an already complicated situation. The Chadian people are now put in an ambiguous state of rebels trying to reach the capital and an army that is not willing to negotiate. The country is finding itself on the verge of war. The nation is looking for hope amid a sea of instability and threats. Despite being an oil-producing country, Chad is in debt. There are around 1.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves floating under Chad’s soil, but the allocation of resources and management may have been unreflective of the country’s current stance. The Chadian people must be looking forward to a more prosperous country, that is not hijacked by different groups that want to control it because of the newly made power vacuum.