Chad’s long-serving President Idriss Deby has died from injuries sustained in clashes with rebels, an army spokesman told state TV on Tuesday.
Army spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna said Deby — a longtime Western ally — died “as a result of his injuries on the front line.”
Rebels, who have been seeking to oust Deby since 2016, had claimed a number of victories in the past week and clashes were reported in the north of the country at the weekend.
Rebels of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad — known in French as Front Pour l’Alternance et La Concorde au Tchad (FACT) — said Friday it had overrun a military garrison in Gouri. The claim was denied by the government, which instead said the rebels had been defeated.
Deby’s son, General Mahamat Kaka, will serve as president of the transitional council, according to Agouna.
He promised there would be “free, democratic and transparent elections following the spirit of sacrifice for which the marshal fought during his life.”The army declared a 14-day period of national mourning and imposed an overnight curfew. Air borders would close until further notice.