Chad military council: No talks with rebels who killed Deby

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A Chadian man leaving in France holds the national flag and a placard that reads, : the people of Chad has a say'" during a protest with their national flags in Paris, Sunday, April 25, 2021. Chadian activists and supporters of the "Front for Change and Concord" in Chad staged a protest in Paris on Sunday, following the death of the President Idriss Deby Itno. They denounce the nomination of Deby's son to assume the interim presidency, which they decry as "monarchization." (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

N'DJAMENA – N'Chad's military transitional government said Sunday it would not negotiate with the rebels blamed for killing the country's president of three decades, raising the specter that the armed fighters might press ahead with their threats to attack the capital.

A spokesman for the rebel group known as the Front for Change and Concord in Chad told The Associated Press that it was now joining forces with other armed groups who oppose President Idriss Deby Itno's son, Mahamat, taking control of the country following his father's killing.

In a televised statement, the military spokesman, Gen. Azem Bermandoa Agouma, said the rebels were seeking to collaborate with “several groups of jihadists and traffickers who served as mercenaries in Libya.”

“Faced with this situation that endangers Chad and the stability of the entire sub-region, this is not the time for mediation or negotiation with outlaws,” he said.

The military spokesman said some of the rebels had escaped in the direction of Chad's border with Niger and called for Niger's government to help capture them.

“The defense and security forces launched after them with the support of the air force located the enemy scattered in small groups regrouping in Niger territory," far from the Chadian capital, he said.

A spokesman for the armed group, Kingabe Ogouzeimi de Tapol, told AP that the rebels had not given up, though he declined to say where the forces were Sunday, citing security reasons.

“There are other armed groups that have joined us,” he said. “We welcome them and we are integrating them into our different battalions.”