EXPLAINER: The potential risks of political crisis in Chad

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A Chadian flag flies at half-staff at the "Place de Le Nation" (Monument of independence) park in N'Djamena, Chad, Monday, April 26, 2021. Chad's military transitional government said Sunday it will 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. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

DAKAR – The killing of President Idriss Deby Itno has left his son in charge of Chad, the first change of power in more than three decades for the central African nation that borders some of the world's most volatile countries.

The military's decision to make Mahamat Idriss Deby the interim leader provoked an immediate outcry from both the Chadian political opposition and the rebel forces blamed for his father's assassination.

Here is a look at the uncertainty in Chad and the potential threats for the region in the weeks to come:


The military announced April 20 that President Idriss Deby Itno had been mortally wounded during a visit to the troops north of the capital, who were battling an anti-Deby rebel group. The exact circumstances are murky, though. The military publicly acknowledged only five casualties in battles that reportedly killed 300 rebels.

Deby, a 68-year-old former army commander, was known for making visits to the front lines. However, security analysts have questioned how such a high-profile person could have been killed in a battle that was supposed to be to the military's advantage.


The military appointed a council to lead an 18-month transition to new elections and put Deby's 37-year-old son in charge.