“His assent to power was welcomed in Chad as it brought a pause to years of civil war and infighting in Chad. However he has never let go of power since then and has quelled several failed attempts at removing him by force. Our condolences to his family and the country as he moves on to eternal rest at the age of 68. He who lives by violence often dies a violent death”
By Dr. Island Anyasi. April 23, 2021, News/Comments
On 19 April, while reading updates on the recent election in chad, the information that the Army had successfully responded to -a rebellion in its north east and in the process killed over 300 rebels of the FACT (Front for Change and Concord in Chad) group based in Libya and captured about 150 of its fighters, also came up. There was a reported casualty figure of 6 Chadian soldiers’ dead and many injured.
However what I remember most clearly about that article is the cover shot of a smiling President Idris Derby who was anticipating an extension of his already 30 year-long dictatorship after a sham election. I clearly remember thinking to myself that his dentition was so perfect and his smile full of confidence.
It was therefore a very rude shock to me after a busy working day to receive the update late on 20 April that President Idris Derby, strong man of the republic of chad, staunch ally of the west and France, had been reported dead by the Chadian army spokesman under unclear circumstances while leading his army to squash yet another rebellion in his beloved country.
He rose to power through a military coup in 1990 where he displaced his former friend and longtime Chadian president Hissene Habre from power. His assent to power was welcomed in Chad as it brought a pause to years of civil war and infighting in Chad. However he has never let go of power since then and has quelled several failed attempts at removing him by force. Our condolences to his family and the country as he moves on to eternal rest at the age of 68. He who lives by violence often dies a violent death.
The broader picture however paints a rather grim forecast for security in Chad, neighboring countries and the Sahel at large. He was the major partner of France in their fight against jihadi groups in the region in exchange for their aid in quelling internal rebellions in chad. However Chad remains a largely impoverished country and it is expected that his demise will only feed unrest in the disgruntled populace.
Furthermore, he has often been accused of fueling unrest in neighboring Nigeria’s north east by providing safe haven and possible logistic support for Boko Haram and ISWAP fighters in the LAC Chad Basin province. The group regularly retreats to the fringes of the Lake on the Chadian side where they train, recruit and strategize to launch sophisticated attacks within Nigeria and as far as Cameroon’s north provinces.
His 38 year old son- General Mahamat Derby has been named as interim president, this may fuel further dissatisfaction in the populace faced with the possibility of forced imposition of a derby dynasty in the presidency. Even within the army, there will definitely be factions that will attempt to take advantage of a relatively weaker Mahamat Derby and foster their own aspirations to power. The Chadian Military under Derby was well funded, trained and armed, his demise is a worrisome development and if not well managed, may rapidly spiral into another Libya post-Gaddafi scenario. It is wise for regional governments to maintain highest levels of proactivity and alertness to prevent such a scenario from playing out.
Dr. Anyasi is the MD/CEO, Sheriff Deputies, Lagos and also a Security Consultant
For breaking News: Call +2348028592006, 08148704264. Email us @:email@example.com for your interview on national issues, or article, commentary or event coverage. View our services and profile by clicking about Afrikanwatch Network and Service.