In the aftermath of the death of President Idriss Deby Itno, who ruled Chad for three decades, his 37-year-old son has taken over as president, according to a charter released Wednesday by the presidency.
The charter states that Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno has been named transitional leader as head of a military council following his father’s death and will “occupy the functions of the president of the republic” and also serve as head of the armed forces.
Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno immediately took charge of a transitional military council and appointed 14 of the most trusted generals to a junta to run Chad until “free and democratic” elections in 18-months time.
Mahamat Deby is best known as a top commander of the Chadian forces assisting a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the restive north of neighbouring Mali.
Commander in chief of the all-powerful red-bereted presidential guard or DGSSIE security service for state institutions, he carries the nickname Mahamat “Kaka” or grandmother in Chadian Arabic, after his father’s mother who raised him.
Mahamat is a career soldier, just like his father.
“He has always been at his father’s side. He also led the DGSSIE. The army has gone for continuity in the system,” Kelma Manatouma, a Chadian political science researcher at Paris-Nanterre university, told AFP.