Khartoum / N'djamena — The Chairman and Members of Sudan's Transitional Sovereignty Council have expressed their condolences to the people of Chad after the death of President Idriss Déby, who died on Monday, reportedly "from wounds sustained in combat".
Déby often joined soldiers on the battlefront in his military fatigues, and at the time of his death, was visiting troops on the frontline north of the capital, where they are fighting ongoing battles with the rebel Force for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT).
In a statement via the official Sudan News Agency (SUNA), the Transitional Sovereignty Council mourns the death of the Chadian leader and eulogised him, citing "the many great roles he had assumed in boosting the fraternal relations between Sudan and Chad", also praising Déby's "efforts for realising peace in Sudan and his effective contributions in serving the issues of the African continent".
Call for clam
The Sudan government has also called on all parties in Chad to be calm and "halt the fighting in a way that guarantees the security and stability of Chad and the safety of its citizens".
In a separate press statement following news of the death of Déby, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it is "following the situation of the Sudanese community [in Chad] through the diplomatic mission in N'Djamena and is working to take all necessary measures to preserve the safety of its members", and that "Sudan is following with great concern the current developments in Chad and the raging conflict between government and opposition forces for power.
The statement affirmed the government of Sudan's keenness to establish security and stability in neighbouring Chad and in the region.
Déby'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.
Déby came to power in 1990 and was one of Africa's longest-ruling leaders, surviving numerous coup attempts and rebellions. His death at 68 was announced the day after he was declared the winner of a presidential election that would have given him a sixth term in office as election results announced on Monday have Déby 79 per cent of the vote.
The government and National Assembly have been dissolved and a nationwide curfew imposed from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. "The National Council of Transition reassures the Chadian people that all measures have been taken to guarantee peace, security and the republican order," Bermendao said.
Déby joined the army in the 1970s when Chad was going through a long-running civil war. He received military training in France and returned to Chad in 1978, throwing his support behind President Hissène Habré and eventually becoming Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. He seized power in 1990.