Chad: Two Killed as Nation Protest Military Takeover of Government

At least two people were killed Tuesday as Chadians took to the streets to protest the military takeover of the government following the sudden death of President Idriss Deby Itno last week, local media reported.

President Deby died of injuries sustained in a frontline battle against the rebel Libya-based rebel group, Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), a week ago.

A military council headed by 37-year-old General Mahamat Idriss Deby, the former president's son, took over power last week.

The opposition termed the takeover a coup and asked Chadians to protest and demand a return to civilian rule.

The junta banned the protest citing threat to public order in a country that is still mourning its head of state.

Residents told local media that in most parts of the Chadian capital Ndjamena, the air was filled with teargas and smoke as protesters burned tyres in several neighbourhoods and the military responded by lobbing teargas and firing their guns.

Footage confirmed to be from the capital of the Sahel country showed trucks loaded with armed military officers patrolling the town.

The junta has been under pressure to hand over power to civilians as soon as possible.

The African Union earlier expressed deep concern over the increasing spate of violence, insurrection and rebellion and the heightened insecurity and political tensions throughout the Sahel region, as well as the neighbouring countries, "all of which are consequences of the conflict in Libya, the increasing operational tempo of rebels, foreign terrorist fighters and mercenaries, as well as the proliferation of illicit weapons."

The president of the Transitional Military Council, Mahamat Idriss Deby, was due to address the nation later on Tuesday, following the protests in the country.

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