President Idriss Déby of Chad was killed at the weekend at the battle front with rebel groups in the country. The passion he had for his country made him jeopardize his safety and his life for the battle.
Deby was a man of many sides and had ruled Chad for decades.
Here are 10 quick facts about the late president.
- Déby was born on 18 June 1952, in the village of Berdoba, approximately 190 kilometres (120 mi) from Fada in northern Chad.
- He was a graduate of Muammar Gaddafi’s World Revolutionary Center.
- He took power by leading a rebellion against President Hissène Habré in December 1990 and survived various rebellions and coup attempts against his own rule.
- Déby won elections in 1996 and 2001, and after term limits were eliminated he won again in 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021.
- He distinguished himself in 1984 by destroying pro-Libyan forces in eastern Chad.
- In 1987, Deby confronted Libyan forces on the field, with the help of France in the so-called “Toyota War”, adopting tactics that inflicted heavy losses on enemy forces. During the war, he also led a raid on Maaten al-Sarra Air Base in Kufrah, in Libyan territory.
- Déby was married several times and had at least a dozen children.
- In the 2021 Chadian presidential election, Déby won his sixth term as president, when results were announced on 19 April, with 79.32% of the votes.
- In 2017, the United States Justice Department alleged Déby accepted a $2 million bribe in return for providing a Chinese company with an opportunity to obtain oil rights in Chad without international competition.
- Déby succumbed to injuries resulting from gunshots on 20 April 2021, while commanding his army against FACT rebels in the north of Chad during the Northern Chad offensive, at the age of 68.