It has been confirmed that newly elected President Idriss Deby died today, apparently of injuries sustained in an attack.
The country’s army released a statement saying that Deby died after being “injured on the frontline”.
Deby had just won his sixth term as president, according to provisional results.
The country went to the polls on April 11, partial election results show the late incumbent on course to extend his three decades.
The Chadian army said on Monday that it had killed 300 rebels who had staged a major incursion into the north of the country, adding that it had lost five of its soldiers in clashes over the weekend, Radio France Internationale reports.
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.
New head of state
For now, the constitution has been suspended. A military council will take over in the interim, under the leadership of General Mahamat Kaka, otherwise known as Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, the son of Idriss.
This temporary government should remain in place for 18 months.
His son has been a general in the Chadian army and for many years headed the Direction Générale des Services de Sécurité des Institutions de l’État (DGSSIE) [General Directorate of Security Services for State Institutions], which includes the presidential guard.