Chad President Idriss Deby dies fighting rebels

Deby had just been re-elected president of his nation.

Pictured is Chad's President Idriss Deby in a January 13, 2020 photo (AFP)

President Idriss Deby of Chad is dead, aged 68, just hours after he was re-elected for a sixth term in office, according to sundry reports.

Reuters quotes an army spokesperson as relaying the news.

AFP reports that Deby, who has been in power for three decades, died of injuries sustained while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel, land-locked country.

Chad has been engulfed in crisis, with violent clashes trailing a presidential contest in which Deby was one of the contestants.

At least 55 people were killed and more than 40 injured when ethnic groups in the southeastern region of Salamat clashed last week.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, in a statement issued on Monday, April 19, 2021, extended his condolences to President Deby over the bloodshed.

Buhari said the unrest has shattered decades of relative peace and stability in the country.

68-year-old Deby was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders. He seized power during a rebellion in 1990, and showed no signs of relinquishing same.

He had just been declared winner of the April 11 presidential election, earning a sixth term in office for himself.

He had scored 79.3 percent of the votes cast, according to the electoral umpire. He was declared dead on the day he was declared winner of the election.

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