Idriss Deby, the newly re-elected President of the Republic of Chad, has died.
President Deby’s death was announced by General Azem Bemrandoua Agouna, the national army spokesman, on national radio on Tuesday.
According to Agouna, the president died of injuries he suffered while on the front line of battle against rebels.
Deby, 68, “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”, Agouna said.
The parliament has been dissolved after the announcement of his death.
The development occured barely 24 hours after he was announced winner of the country’s presidential election and re-election into office for the sixth term.
The late President Deby had won the election by 79.3 per cent.
Deby, a former military officer, had been in power for three decades and was facing the problem of armed rebels launching attacks on the country until his death.
Chad”s military had been pushed back by a column of insurgents, who were advancing towards the capital, N’Djamena.
Deby is a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the Sahel and he campaigned on a promise of bringing peace and security to the region.
But on election day, a heavily armed rebel group launched an incursion into Chad’s north from its rear base in Libya.
On Monday, Chad’s army said it had it had killed more than 300 rebels, capturing 150 more, and lost five soldiers in the eight days of fighting.
The government meanwhile sought to assure concerned residents that the offensive was over and calm had been restored.
The rebel raid in the provinces of Tibesti and Kanem was carried out by the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), based in Libya.
The group has a non-aggression pact with Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman who controls much of Libya’s east.
Additional reporting from AFP