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Who was Chad’s president Idriss Deby and how did he die?

IDRISS Deby had been the President of Chad for more than 30 years.

Deby came to power during a rebellion in 1990, and won a sixth term following elections on April 11.

Who was Idriss Deby?

Idris Deby, 68, was a politician and military officer who came to power in the African country in December 1990 when he led a rebellion against the then president Hissene Habre.

He was head of the Patriotic Salvation Movement.

He gained 79.3 per cent of the vote in an election on April 11, although it was boycotted by opposition leaders.

Although often described as an “authoritarian” leader, western countries viewed Deby as an ally in the fight against Islamist extremist groups in Africa, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

Deby had been married several times and is said to have at least a dozen children.

How did Idriss Deby die?

Deby died on April 20, 2021 following a clash between the army and rebels near the country’s border with Libya.

He died from injuries sustained in the battle, an army spokesperson confirmed.

Deby "has just breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield," army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.

The army said a military council led by the late president's 37-year-old son Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, a four-star general, would replace him as leader of Chad.

He was due to give a victory speech to his supporters but decided to visit soldiers on the front lines instead.

His campaign director Mahamat Zen Bada said at the time: "The candidate would have liked to have been here to celebrate.

"But right now, he is alongside our valiant defence and security forces to fight the terrorists threatening our territory."

His campaign team said on Monday he was joining troops battling what he called terrorists after rebels based across the northern frontier in Libya advanced hundreds of miles south toward the capital N'Djamena.

The cause of his death is not yet clear.

Azem Bermendao Agouna announced his death surrounded by a group of military officers he referred to as the National Council of Transition.

"A call to dialogue and peace is launched to all Chadians in the country and abroad in order to continue to build Chad together," he said.

"The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order."

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