Buhari Mourns Chadian President Deby, Who Died Fighting Rebels
President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned President Idriss Deby of Chad, describing him as a gallant leader.
Deby, who was newly re-elected for the sixth term after a 30-year rule, died at 68 on Tuesday from injuries sustained while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel country, army said.
Buhari, in a condolence message by his media assistant, Malam Garba Shehu, expressed sadness over “the sudden and tragic death of President Deby on the front line, fighting against rebel soldiers.”
I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.
The late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.
Buhari described the late Chadian leader as;
A friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
The death of Deby will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.
While condoling with the people of Chad and their new leader, Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
It would be recalled that the late Chadian leader in July 2020 joined the country’s soldiers in the frontline to fight Boko Haram terrorists.
Deby appeared in military fatigue as he led an operation to drive out the terrorists from Chadian territory.
The operation codenamed “Operation Wrath of Bomo,” came after terrorists dealt the heaviest blow to the Chadian military after an assault killed over 90 soldiers.
The offensive took place at Kelkoua bank and Magumeri where the Chadian army destroyed several Boko Haram bunkers recovered cache of arms and arrested a top Boko Haram commander.
The Chadian troops were also said to have set freed some Nigerian soldiers held captive by terrorists at Magumeri LGA of Borno State.
Deby later announced that Boko Haram had been completely removed from Chadian territory.
He stated then;
I went down this morning to Kaiga-Kindjinria. No element of Boko Haram is present in the islands of Lake Chad. Congratulations to our defence and security forces who have cleaned up the entire island area.
Deby also met with Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force fighting Boko Haram in the Lake Chad region, Nigeria’s Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Yusuf, in Kaiga-Kindjinria, where they discussed security deployments on the islands of Lake Chad.
Meanwhile, following the death of Deby, his four-star-General son, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno will replace him at the head of a military council, the army has announced.
“A military council has been set up headed by his son, Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,” the army’s spokesman, Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouna, said on state radio, shortly after the announcement that the newly re-elected president had died of wounds while fighting rebels.
A two-week national mourning period was declared amid a dusk-to-dawn curfew.
All the land and air borders in the country have also been shut “until further notice.”
The military council said the transitional period would last for 18 months while the cabinet and the parliament would be dissolved.
Like his father, Deby, 37, has also been involved in the fight against rebel forces and Boko Haram insurgents.
There has been a prolonged battle in the African country between government forces and rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).
The unrest escalated in recent days as anti-government fighters approached N’Djamena, the capital city.
The Chadian army spokesperson said the country’s forces “defeated a group of terrorists who had ventured into the north of the Kanem province.”
The army on Monday announced that fighting left some 300 rebels of FACT dead, while FACT claimed in a statement that Deby had been wounded.