Rebels in Chad say they’ll take over the country after President Idriss Déby was killed and his son temporarily placed in his role

Chad President
In this Sunday, April 11, 2021 image made from video, Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, center, arrives to cast his vote in the recent elections in N’Djamena, Chad. AP Photo
  • Mahamat Kaka, the son of Chad’s President, Idriss Déby, was temporarily put in his place following his father’s death.
  • Rebels in the country have vowed to take over the country’s capital.
  • Déby died after suffering injuries fighting on the front line against the rebels.
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Following the death of Chad’s President Idriss Déby, rebels vowed they would take over the country’s capital, the Associated Press reported.

Déby, the country’s longest-serving president, died from injuries he suffered after fighting on the front line against rebels in the city of N’Djamena. The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad launched an attack on the army earlier this month.

The military named Déby’s son, General Mahamat “Kaka” Idriss Deby, as the country’s interim leader after his father’s death but rebels who opposed Déby’s rule, calling it oppressive, pushed back.

There was public discontent in the country on how Déby handled oil wealth and his opponents. In 2018, Déby pushed a new constitution through a law that extended his potential to serve until 2033.

“Chad is not a monarchy. There can be no dynastic devolution of power in our country,” the rebels said in a statement late Tuesday, the AP reported. “The forces of the Front for Change and Concord are heading toward N’Djaména at this very moment. With confidence, but above all with courage and determination.”

Al Jazeera reported that some in the country also felt Kaka, 37, was too young to rule.

“He is far too young and not especially liked by other officers,” Roland Marchal of the International Research Centre at Sciences Po university in Paris, told Al Jazeera.

The charter that announced Kaka’s new role as the head of a military council that will last 18 months essentially repealed the country’s previous constitution as of Tuesday.

The council includes Kaka and 14 other generals who were loyalists to Déby.

Déby’s death came hours after he won his sixth term in office. He won the election with 79% of the vote, Reuters reported.

He’d ruled Chad for more than 30 years despite multiple rebellions, Al Jazeera reported. Western leaders relied on him as an ally against terrorism, especially groups like Boko Haram.

His funeral was held on Friday and was attended by several African leaders and French President Emmanuel Macron. Rebels had warned foreign leaders not to attend, Al Jazeera reported.