The shock announcement of Idriss Deby’s death on the frontline of a fight against northern rebels comes day after the 68-year-old was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.
Deby’s son, Mahamat Kaka, was named interim president by a transitional council of military officers, spokesman Azem Bermendao Agouna said in a broadcast on state television.
Announcing his death, army said Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.
Deby “has just breathed his last breath defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield,” army spokesman General Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement read out on state television.
A four-star general who is Deby’s son will replace him at the head of a military council, the army said.
“A military council has been set up headed by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno,” Agouna said.
Some Africans have kicked against Deby’s son as his successor, tagging it “dictatorship” and wondering if the country is still controlled by the western world.
Here are some reactions as gathered on Twitter:
@udoiheanacho wrote: “Africa is cursed! What happened to the President of the National Assembly, according to their constitution? What happened to the Head of Judiciary?
@ojuroungbe1 “This trend of family political dynasties is rubbish. The automatic succession of sons seem to be the norm in Africa. just like Kabila, Eyadema, Kenyatta & Botswana Khama.”
@cchukudebelu “France has managed 2 father to son dictatorial transitions; 1. Gnassingbe Eyadema to Faure Gnassingbe (Togo). 2. Omar Bongo Ondimba to Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon). Now a third – from Idriss Deby to his son (Chad). Congratulations France, “defender of democracy in Africa”!!”
@SatansTweet1″ The west preaches democracy when it suits their interest. It is a pity over 30 years in power and the army still remains the strongest institution in the country. He did not build democratic institutions”
@MrOdanz “After ruling Chad for 31 years, Idris Derby will be succeeded by his son General Mahamat Kaka as acting President. The US and its allies will be okay with the arrangement just like they were okay with Derby’s 31 years Dictatorship. Strategic interest >>> Democracy.”
@AbdijabarBurnt” Africa is wild. You have some countries like Ghana and Kenya that I feel have a strong shot at attaining high HDI levels and strong quality of life indicators. Then you got places like Chad where they’re literally reenacting Game Of Thrones, just in the Sahel. What a continent.”
@MrGeorgBruce “Where is he’s Vice? Doesn’t the country have a vice president? Where is the country’s Parliament? All hail France the “defenders of democracy in Africa.”
@manu_keith “But but they had an election just few weeks ago.. why can’t they go to the ballot. Oops it was an illusion and coronation of a dynasty that’s now sprouting. Uganda, what’s the star level of the president’s son?”
@Vimbai34879137 “Another Kabila type of take over. Another African nation enslaved in a pathetic system of governance #AfricanLivesMatter #AfricaUnite4Change”
@KivaulaK “Ooh does this mean armies in Africa perpetrate dictatorship and nepotism, why his son then.”
@Banky62168357 “Same script every time. Mama Africa weeps Crying face”
@UrRoadMap “So his son is the most qualified in the country? So Chad na family business?”
@Babasridonpapa “So, they served father for 30yrs and they’re planning to serve son for another 30. This country belongs to Deby.”
@MarshalkingNp “When is Africans going to be free from these autocratic systems of government and dictatorships?”
@basic_stunt “When will most of these countries in Africa ever grace an opportunity to lift Thier country forward and out of political slavery they find themselves??? Be wise people”