After Deby’s funeral, Chadian rebels promise to resume “their match”

Following the funeral of President Idriss Deby, who died on the frontline, rebels in northern Chad were planning to march on the capital N’Djamena, according to a spokesperson. 

Deby’s death on Monday, just days after winning an election to prolong his 30-year reign, stunned a Central African country that had long been a Western partner in the fight against Islamist militants. 

According to the Reuters, a military council headed by Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Deby, seized power after his death, saying it intends to oversee an 18-month transition to elections.

According to observers, thousands of rebels crossed the border from northern Libya on April 11 under the banner of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT). They got as near as 200-300 km (125-185 miles) to the capital last week before being pushed back by the army and pausing to pay respects to Deby’s funeral. 

FACT has condemned the military transition as a “monarchy” and called for a return to democracy. 

“We are preparing to advance … We don’t accept any military government,” spokesman Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol reveals.

FACT claimed on Wednesday that warplanes bombed their command center and that France aided the attack with aerial surveillance. However, that was rejected by the French army. 

On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron, who stood next to Deby’s son at the funeral, promised to protect Chad. He also called for a democratic transformation.

On Saturday in N’Djamena, the streets were bustling and the markets were open. At major intersections, military activity was reduced to a few soldiers with rifles lying in the shade of pickup trucks. 

In the appearance of calm, opposition leaders, labor unions, and civil society organizations have condemned the military occupation, and an army general recently said that many officers oppose the transfer strategy. 

On Friday, Succes Masra, a 38-year-old opposition leader barred from running for president in April, called for a civilian interim president with a vice president named by the military.

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