14 Generals to Work with New Chadian Leader to ensure peaceful transition

Raphael Oni with Agency News

Chadian interim head of state General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno has picked 14 generals to compose the transitional military council (CMT), which was established Tuesday following the death of former President Idriss Deby Itno, father of General Mahamat, according to the first decree of the CMT published by public television.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, whom Chadians are already starting to call MIDI (like his father, Marshal Idriss Deby Itno), has selected officials of defense and security forces to ensure the transition. He will lead the CMT for 18 months after his father’s death.

According to a CMT statement, the National Assembly and the government are dissolved, and a transitional government will be put in place. A transitional charter will be promulgated to replace the constitution.

The CMT has also instituted a curfew ranging from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. throughout the country, and borders are closed until further notice.

The selected officials include: General Souleyman Abakar Adoum, defense minister in the last government dissolved on Tuesday; General Mahamat Ismail Chaibo, former head of intelligence and minister of territorial administration; General Abakar Abdelkerim Daoud, chief of the general staff of the armed forces; General Djimadoum Tiraina, director general of the gendarmerie; General Youssouf Mahamat Itno, director general of the national police; General Tahir Erda Tairo, director general of military intelligence.

Within the CMT, there are also General Bichara Issa Djadallah, chief of staff of ex-president and twice defense minister; General Oki Mahamat Yaya Dagache, defense and security adviser to Deby; as well as General Mahamat Nour Abdelkerim, former defense minister.

Army spokesperson General Azem Bermandoa Agouna, who also sits on the CMT, on Tuesday announced on national television the death of Deby, as a result of injuries received during fighting against rebels from Libya.

All 15 generals of the CMT, most of whom were alongside the late President Deby during the battle in the western Chadian province of Kanem (some 300 kilometer north of the capital N’Djamena), are responsible for ensuring the security of the country and conducting an 18-month transition leading to new elections.

The nation held its latest election on April 11, and the Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday evening announced that then incumbent Chadian President Idriss Deby had won the absolute majority in the first round of the presidential election.

A national mourning of 14 days is decreed throughout the territory from Tuesday. The funeral of the late president is scheduled for Friday in his birthplace Amdjarass, in the north of Chad.

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, center, casts his vote in the recent elections in N’Djamena, Chad, April 11, 2021. /AP

Leaders of African countries expressed condolences over the death of Deby, and concerns about the escalated conflicts in the Central African country.

“I would like in this tragic circumstance to express my most sincere condolences to the bereaved Chadian nation,” neighboring Cameroonian President Paul Biya said in a statement on his Twitter handle on Tuesday. “It was a huge loss for Chad.”

Algeria on Tuesday said it is following with “great concern” the developments in Chad after the incident.

“While paying tribute to late President Idriss Deby, Algeria calls on all the sons of Chad to show a sense of responsibility and to favor dialogue as the only way out to the crisis and preserve peace and stability in the country,” the Algerian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sudan urged all the parties in Chad to stop fighting and work to ensure security and stability.

“Sudan is following, with great concern, the developments of the on-going events in sisterly Chad and the raging conflict between government and opposition forces over power,” said Sudan’s foreign ministry in a statement.

“The government of Sudan, keen on establishment of security and stability in neighboring Chad and the region, calls on all Chadian parties to calm down and stop the fighting in a manner that guarantees the security and stability of Chad and the safety of its citizens,” it added.

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