Military Says Chad’s President Killed On Battlefield

Chad’s long­time leader has died of wounds suf­fered dur­ing a vis­it to front-line troops bat­tling a lit­tle-known rebel group, the mil­i­tary announced Tuesday, just hours after he was declared the win­ner of an elec­tion that would have giv­en him anoth­er six years in power.

The mil­i­tary quick­ly announced President Idriss Deby Itno’s son as the cen­tral African nation’s inter­im leader, suc­ceed­ing his 68-year-old father who ruled for more than three decades.

Some observers imme­di­ate­ly ques­tioned the chain of events lead­ing up to Tuesday’s stun­ning announce­ment on nation­al radio and television.

Ayo Sogunro, a Nigerian lawyer and fel­low at the South Africa-based Center for Human Rights, said that under Chadian law the term of an incum­bent pres­i­dent who dies is com­plet­ed not by fam­i­ly mem­bers but by the National Assembly.

The army seiz­ing pow­er and con­fer­ring it on the son of the pres­i­dent … is a coup and uncon­sti­tu­tion­al,” Sogunro tweet­ed Tuesday, call­ing for the African Union to con­demn the trans­fer of power.

Deby’s 37-year-old son, Mahamat, is best known as a top com­man­der of the Chadian forces aid­ing a U.N. peace­keep­ing mis­sion in north­ern Mali. The mil­i­tary said Tuesday he now will head an 18-month tran­si­tion­al coun­cil fol­low­ing his father’s death.

The mil­i­tary called for calm, insti­tut­ing a 6 p.m. cur­few and clos­ing the country’s land and air bor­ders as pan­ic kept many inside their homes in the cap­i­tal, N’Djamena.

In the face of this wor­ry­ing sit­u­a­tion, the peo­ple of Chad must show their com­mit­ment to peace, to sta­bil­i­ty, and to nation­al cohe­sion,” Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouma said. Read more here.https://​apnews​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​c​h​a​d​-​p​r​e​s​i​d​e​n​t​-​i​d​r​i​s​s​-​d​e​b​y​-​i​t​n​o​-​d​e​a​d​-​f​f​d​9​a​f​d​c​2​3​e​7​3​3​1​c​a​3​2​7​6​5​f​f​6​9​3​d​b​6d6