Surprise was the natural reaction upon hearing the news on April 20, that the long-standing president of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, had been killed on the front lines of his country’s war with the rebel Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) militia group.
Deby had been in power for thirty years and had just won another election, his sixth, according to provisional results released the previous day. The election had taken place on the same day as the FACT rebels took over some garrison towns and began to march on the capital, N’Djamena, advancing hundreds of miles. The Chadian military said it had repelled a rebel column, but the United States was beginning to close its embassy, and the Foreign Office advice held that all British nationals should urgently leave the country.
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