According to the army spokesperson, Général Azem Bemrandoua Agouna, the military had been pushed back by a column of insurgents who were advancing on the capital, N’Djamena.
Déby was expected to give a victory speech after receiving the provisional results, but opted instead to visit Chadian soldiers on the front lines, said his campaign director Mahamat Zen Bada.
Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield” over the weekend, army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement on state television.
This comes after violent clashes between rebel and state forces had increased significantly since presidential elections were held on April 11.
President Idriss Deby has ruled Chad with an iron fist for the past 30 years.
The former army chief came to power in a 1990 rebellion that removed Dictator Hissene Habre in a coup. He went on to win Chad’s first post-independence elections in 1996 and was reelected in 2001.
After a referendum in 2005 removed the two-term limit from the constitution, Deby continued his winning streak, sweeping presidential elections in 2006, 2011 and 2016.
Chad amended its constitution again in 2018, expanding the president’s powers and increasing the presidential term from five to six years. And although the new constitution reintroduced a two-term limit, this won’t be applied retroactively, leaving Deby free to theoretically stand for president until 2033.
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