Biden’s White House reacts to killing of President of Chad Idriss Deby Itno, condemns violence, calls for peaceful transfer of power

The Biden administration on Tuesday reacted to the killing of the President of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, saying “the United States stands with the people of Chad during this difficult time.”

President Idriss Déby of Chad 
President Idriss Déby of Chad

The administration condemned recent violence in Chad and called for a peaceful transition of power.

“On behalf of the United States, we offer the people of Chad our sincere condolences as they mourn the passing of President Idriss Deby Itno,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement to Today News Africa in Washington D.C.

“The United States stands with the people of Chad during this difficult time. We condemn recent violence and loss of life in Chad. We support a peaceful transition of power in accordance with the Chadian constitution,” the official added.

President Deby, who ruled the central African nation for more than three decades, was killed on Tuesday on the battlefield in a fight against rebels, the military announced on national television and radio.

The military said Deby’s 37-year-old son, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, will lead an 18-month transitional council. The military also imposed a nightly curfew of 6 p.m.

Electoral officials had just declared Deby as the winner of the April 11 presidential election, giving him another six years in power, before he was killed on Tuesday.

Deby came to power in 1990 when his rebel troops overthrew President Hissene Habre. Deby was then the army commander-in-chief. 

It was not clear exactly where and how the Chadian leader was killed. He has been battling Boko Haram terror groups and rebels opposing his rule. The army did not give enough information. 

But Idriss Deby, who often joined the army on battlefield, had survived many rebellions against his rule.

The latest insurgency is led by a group calling itself the Front for Change and Concord in Chad. It was not clear whether it was that group that killed Deby.

The rebels are believed to have been trained in neighboring Libya and armed themselves there before crossing into northern Chad on April 11, the same day Deby was seeking a sixth term in office.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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