Chad’s President Idriss Deby has died while visiting troops on the front line of a fight against northern rebels, an army spokesperson said Tuesday, the day after Deby was declared the winner of the sixth term in office.
The 68-year-old “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesperson General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement on state television, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
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.
He was reelected for a sixth term on April 11.
The Chadian army has been battling rebel forces, which launched an assault on the capital, N’Djamena.
According to Report, He was expected to give a victory speech to supporters, but his campaign director, Mahamat Zen Bada, said he had instead gone to visit Chadian soldiers on the front lines.
“The candidate would have liked to have been here to celebrate… but right now, he is alongside our valiant defense and security forces to fight the terrorists threatening our territory,” Zen Bada told reporters, according to remarks carried by Reuters.