Chadian military claims victory over northern rebels News from armed groups


The military and authorities have previously said they have defeated the rebel group FACT just to fight to continue.

Chad’s army has won victory in its weeks-long battle with northern rebels that led to war death of President Idriss Deby on the front line.

The rebel group Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) did not respond to a request for comment on the army’s claim on Sunday. Transitional military authorities have previously said they have defeated the rebels just to fight to continue.

The struggle and wider political instability are being closely monitored. Chad is a key power in Central Africa and a long Western ally against rebel fighters throughout the Sahel region.

Crowds from the capital N’Djamena cheered as Sunday as soldiers returned from the front line in a column of tanks and armored vehicles.

“The triumphant return of the army to the barracks today announces the end of operations and the victory of Chad,” the chief of staff of the army, Abakar Abdelkerim Daoud, told reporters.

At an army base in N’Djamena, dozens of captured rebels sat on the ground, exposed in the assembled press.

A group of captured FACT rebels are shown along with their weapons and vehicles confiscated at the headquarters of the Chadian army in N’Djamena [AFP]

FACT fighters crossed the border from Libya in April to take a stand against Deby, whose 30-year government they opposed. His subsequent death while visiting troops brought the country into crisis.

On Saturday, security forces fired tear gas to disperse a protest against the ruling military council. Led by Deby’s son, Mahamat Idriss Itno, the council took power after the death of the former, promising to oversee an 18-month transition to elections.

Opposition politicians and civil society have denounced the acquisition as a coup and called on supporters to take to the streets. At least five people died during a protest on April 27th.

French President Emmanuel Macron had noted strong support for the military during Deby’s funeral which he attended, sitting next to Deby’s son Mahamat. But the French government has changed since then and called for a government of national civil unity.

People had planned a new protest on Sunday, but postponed it for fear that authorities would plan to suppress it violently, Mahamat Nour Ibedou, a prominent human rights activist, told Reuters news agency.

The military council had given permission for a protest on Sunday.

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