Chad military says it killed 300 rebels after attempted incursion

Grant Boone
April 20, 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby Itno of Chad and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt over recent tragic incidents in their respective countries.

Deby is reelected in April for a fifth mandate with around 60 percent of votes compared to 13 percent for the opposition leader Saleh Kebzabo.

Former prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacke came in second, while Lydie Beassemda came third.

The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), based in Chad's northern neighbor Libya, has made inroads south since it attacked a border post on election day and called for an end to President Idriss Deby's 30-year rule.

Idriss Deby's latest election victory had never been in doubt, but the campaign was marred by banned demonstrations, arrests and a boycott from the opposition.

Deby, 68, took power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa's longest-ruling leaders, surviving numerous coup attempts and rebellions.

The government has released few details of its efforts to put down the rebellion in northern Chad, though it did announce Saturday that it had "totally decimated" one rebel column of fighters.

Fresh fighting erupted in the region, drawing in Deby who died, according to the army, from injuries sustained fighting rebels. His closest call came in 2008, when rebels from Darfur reached the capital N'Djamena and besieged the presidential palace before France intervened to help push them back.

Chadian army says kills over 300

He said the council will be led by Deby's 37-year-old son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.

French President Emmanuel Macron, seen with Deby in Pau, France, on January 13, has spearheaded an worldwide military and peacekeeping effort in the Sahel to try and maintain stability in the region.

Chad under Deby is also one of the largest contributors to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali. "That in itself is a coup", he said.

On the issue of Deby's replacement, Yates said: "Expect things to get messy during the transition".

On Monday, provisional results from the election on 11 April projected he would win a sixth term in office, with 80% of the vote.

"In the face of this worrying situation, the people of Chad must show their commitment to peace, to stability, and to national cohesion", General Azem Bermandoa Agouma said.

Fighting between Chad's army and rebels in the country's north was revealed to be far deadlier than previously known on Monday, with the military reporting more than 300 insurgents killed while claiming calm was restored.

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