Chad’s President Idriss Deby has died while visiting troops on the frontline of a fight against northern rebels, an army spokesman said on Tuesday, the day after Deby was declared the winner of a presidential election.
Deby, 68, came to power in a rebellion in 1990 and was one of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders.
His campaign said on Monday he was joining troops battling what he called terrorists after rebels based across the northern frontier in Libya advanced hundreds of km (miles) south toward the capital N’Djamena. [L1N2MC20E]
The cause of death was not yet clear.
Army spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna announced his death in a broadcast on state television, 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.”
Western countries have seen Deby as an ally in the fight against Islamist extremist groups, including Boko Haram in the Lake Chad Basin and groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.
Deby was also dealing with mounting public discontent over his management of Chad’s oil wealth and crackdowns on opponents.
His election victory had given him a sixth term in office but the April 11 vote was boycotted by opposition leaders.
Barka da Sallah to Muslim faithfuls who don’t behave like terrorists — Kanu
Rights activist, Nnamdi Kanu, has congratulated Muslims as they celebrate Eid al-Fitr – one of the holiest occasions on the Islamic calendar.
Kanu, in a message Thursday, noted that his message and best wishes are directed to “Muslim faithfuls who don’t think and behave like the terrorists” who he said are presiding over the government in Nigeria.
“May the peace & blessings of your God Allah be and abide with you always,” said the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
— Mazi Nnamdi Kanu (@MaziNnamdiKanu) May 13, 2021
Rocket attacks: Nigerian govt frowns, send message to Israel
Nigeria’s federal government has expressed its displeasure with the rocket attacks between Israel and the Palestinian militant group in Gaza, Hamas.
In a statement by Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ferdinand Nwonye, Nigeria’s federal government called on both sides to defuse hostilities.
“The Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to state that the Federal Government of Nigeria is watching with great concern the unfolding developments with Israel and the State of Palestine and urges both parties to see reason and de-escalate the hostilities,” said Nwonye.
“The Federal Government further urges the two parties to remain committed to the two-state solution and, in the meantime, guarantee the rights of all citizens to live in peace and dignity.”
Gaza rocket attacks: US, Europe suspend flights to and from Israel
International air carriers are suspending flights to and from Israel amid ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza capable of reaching the country’s center, where Ben Gurion Airport is located, near to the city of Lod.
British Airways on Thursday became the latest carrier to cancel its Tel Aviv route, saying that “the safety and security of our colleagues and customers is always our top priority, and we continue to monitor the situation closely.”
Earlier on Thursday, Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines announced that they were suspending flights from Frankfurt, Vienna and Munich on Thursday and Friday.
US-based carriers American, Delta and United on Wednesday cancelled all fights to Israel.
American cancelled its daily flight from New York; United cancelled its flights from Chicago, Newark and San Francisco; and Delta cancelled flights from New York to Tel Aviv.
Ben Gurion Airport rerouted all incoming flights to Ramon International Airport in southern Israel’s Timna Valley – approximately 20 kilometers from Eilat – on Thursday, as terrorists in the Gaza Strip continued launching rockets toward Israeli territory.
Departing flights were still taking off from Ben Gurion.
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