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Great loss for Africa! : Africans mourn the death of the Marshal of Chad

The death of the field marshal of Chad came as shock to the continent. According to a statement from the Chadian military, President Deby died in the battle field while defending republican institutions.

The announcement of his death came a day after provisional results of elections held on 11 April showed he won a sixth term in office.

Several African and world leaders have continued to mourn the passing of an ally critical in the fight against security threats in the Sahel region.

The head of the African Union Moussa Faki Mahamat, a former Chadian prime minister, said he was saddened by Deby’s death, describing him as a “great statesman and recognised military leader”.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya also tweeted saying, “The death of Marshal Idriss Deby Itno is an immense loss for Chad, Central Africa and our continent, which he will have served tirelessly”

Earlier this year, a special envoy from Chad met with Cameroon’s president Paul Biya to discuss on bilateral relations, security and the fight against terrorism.

In a similar recognition of his relentless fight agiasnt insecurity in the country and in the region, the president of Gabon in a tweet said,

“President Idriss Déby Itno died as he lived by fighting”. In this painful ordeal, Chad will be able to count on the solidarity of Gabon”. He continued by extending his condolences to the family and the Chadian people.

In neighbouring Mali, interim President Bah Ndaw voiced “deep sadness” over the news of Deby’s “brutal death”.

He called it “a heavy loss, not only for Chad for which he made the greatest sacrifice, but for the Sahel region and for Africa”.

The two countries have been allies against threats posed by armed groups.

With his “engagement and vision he contributed to a stronger and united Africa”.

In an official statement, President Mohamed Bazoum and the government in neighbouring Niger hailed Deby’s “personal engagement in the fight against terrorism and for stabilising the Sahel-Sahara region”.

The statement also reassured the Chadian people of Niger’s “commitment to work together with them for the peace and stability of the G5 Sahel States and the States bordering Lake Chad”.

More tributes continue to pour in from Africa and from around the world.

The State Funeral of the Marshal of Chad, Idriss Déby Itno will take place on Friday, 23rd April “in the presence of heads of state and government of friendly countries” . Chad, the Sahel region and Africa will remember Deby for his relentless fight to unit Africa, maintain peace and security in the region..

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