In a swift change of fate, and according to the provisional results announced Monday evening by the Independent National Electoral Commission, Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno was re-elected in the first round of the presidential election, on Tuesday morning, an army announcement broadcasted on national radio has announced his death.
“The President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Head of the Armed Forces, Idriss Déby Itno, has just had his last breath in defending territorial integrity on the battlefield. It is with deep bitterness that we announce to the Chadian people the death on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 of Marshal of Chad “, announced the spokesman of the army, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, in a press release read on TV Tchad.
Deby headed on Monday to the frontline to join troops battling “terrorists”, an allusion to rebels from the Front for Alternation and Consultation in Chad (Fact).
The clashes took place in Kanem, a province located in the northwest of the country, some 500 kilometers from the capital, N’Djamena.
The Supreme Court was expected to announce the final results on May 15.
At 68 years old, including 31 years at the head of the country, Idriss Déby Itno had won everywhere and was poised to rule the country for a sixth term.
the opposition candidate Brice Mbaimon Guedmabye had critized the polls saying the results were “prefabricated”. “We plan to appeal,” he had said.
Opposition heavyweights such as Saleh Kebzabo had called for a boycott of the election.