The national army of Chad has announced on radio that the newly re-elected President Idriss Déby has died of wounds he received while commanding his army in battles against rebels in the north.
This comes after Chad’s veteran president, Idriss Déby had won a sixth term in the latest provisional results in on Monday by 79.3%.
According to the army spokesperson, Général Azem Bemrandoua Agouna, the military had been pushed back by a column of insurgents who were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena.
Déby, was expected to give a victory speech after receiving the provisional results, but opted instead to visit Chadian soldiers on the front lines, said his campaign director Mahamat Zen Bada.
According to one report, the soldiers were attacked by militants from the Front pour l’alternance et la concorde au Tchad (Front for Change and Concord in Chad) who had arrived from their base in Libya and had entered Chadian soil on 11 April. Their stated goal was to rid the country of Déby’s 31 years of power.
Deby, 68, began his 30-year rule of the country in 1990, and is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.
Last August, the National Assembly named Deby the first field marshal in Chad’s history, after he led an offensive against jihadists in the west of the country.