International news outlets are reporting that Idriss Déby, longtime president of the country of Chad has died. Jason Bourke of The Guardian reports:
“A statement from the military said the 68-year-old ruler, in power for 30 years, had been killed “on the battlefield” after being injured fighting rebels but gave no further details.
Déby last week won a sixth term in presidential elections. The poll prompted an invasion by a Libya-based rebel group called the Force for Change and Concord in Chad, which military officials had said was repulsed at the weekend.
Officials had said the veteran politician would not give a victory speech after the polls because he had travelled to the frontlines to take charge of military operations.
“He died as he lived, as a free man, with a weapon in his hand,” Abderrahman Koulamallah, a former rebel and presidential adviser, told French radio network RFI.”
Amid Déby’s death, it is being reported parliament has been dissolved and replaced by a military council led by Déby’s son General Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno.
Déby ruled for 30 years and was elected to six terms as president. He died at age 68.
This story is developing.
Read more at The Guardian.