The United Nations Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, have joined world leaders in reacting to the death of Chadian President Idriss Deby, amid growing concerns about further instability in the region given the president’s unexpected demise.
The military in Chad says Deby was killed while on the frontline of the conflict with rebels in the north of the country. His death comes just a day after being re-elected as the Head of State, a position he has held for 30 years.
Chad has been a key ally of the west in the region.
“The Secretary General is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of President Idriss Deby of Chad this morning. He expresses his deepest condolences to the President’s family as well as to the people and government of Chad,” says Guterres Spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric.
“Just to give you some context on the humanitarian situation in Chad, the situation in the country is characterised by growing humanitarian needs linked to the conflict in the Lake Chad basin as well as the effects of climate change.
The UN presence is about 1 800 staff, both national and internationals, we obviously rely on the Chadian authorities to ensure the safety and security of our staff. We are also doing our own security assessment and we’re watching the situation hour by hour, adds Dujarric.
Political analyst David Zounmenou reacts to Deby’s death:
The Spokesperson for the President of the UN General Assembly, Brendan Varma, says: “The President tweeted this morning that he was sending his most sincere condolences to the Chadian people on the passing away of Idriss Deby who had just been re-elected. The President said he would soon convene a General Assembly to pay tribute to Mr. Deby’s memory. He also called Chad’s Ambassador to the UN this morning to express his condolences.”
I send my most sincere condolences to the Chadian people on the passing away of H.E. Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic, Head of State, Supreme Chief of the Armies, who had just been re-elected. I will soon convene an #UNGA meeting to pay tribute to his memory.
— UN GA President (@UN_PGA) April 20, 2021
Earlier, France and the African Union also paid tribute to Deby. The AU described his passing as a loss for Africa, while France believes that it is a blow to the fight against terrorism in that region.