The Chad army says “several hundred” rebels were killed

Chad’s army on Friday said it had killed “hundreds” of rebels during two days of fighting in the country’s west, killing President Idriss Deby Itno at the front lines this month. The announcement came as the UN said more than 700 people had been arrested following demonstrations against the new military regime.

“On April 29, the defense and security forces stopped dealing with the rebel band that invaded Nokou in northern Kanem,” Army spokesman Azem Bermandoa Agouna said in a statement.

Nokou is located about 200 kilometers north of the capital N’Djamena.

Agouna said “several hundred rebels” were “neutralized” and 66 others were imprisoned while six soldiers were killed.

Since mid-April, the army has been fighting on the front for change and conformity in Chad (FACT), mainly from the Goran ethnic group, in the Kanem desert region along the border with Niger.

By winning 80 percent of the vote in the April 11 presidential election, the same day the rebels began their offensive, Deby officially died of wounds he suffered as he led troops against FACT.

He had ruled Chad with an iron fist since seizing power in the back of a 1990 coup.

Since his death, his son Mahamat Deby Itno has taken power at the head of a military junta and promised to destroy FACT.

More than 700 protesters were arrested, the UN said

The younger Deby’s appointment sparked mass protests in the Central African nation as civil society groups renewed demands for more protests over the weekend.

More than 700 people have been arrested in Chad after this week’s demonstrations against the new military government, the UN said on Friday.

UN human rights spokeswoman Marta Hurtado said it was not known how many of those arrested after Tuesday’s demonstrations were still being held.

“As further protests and general strikes have been called for in the coming days, we stress that Chad remains bound by its obligations under international human rights to protect and respect human rights, including the right to life, and to facilitate the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly. congregation, she said in Geneva.

Witnesses say security forces fired live ammunition at Tuesday’s demonstrations, which took place in Chad’s two largest cities, N’Djamena and Moundou. A military spokesman has denied that the protests against the government were peaceful, saying a mob killed a retired police officer amid the unrest.

The streets remained calm but heavily patrolled by the military on Friday, as many N’Djamena residents flocked to mosques for prayers during the third week of Ramadan.

Chad’s political opposition has also called for a temporary military government to step down, saying power should have been handed over to the National Assembly president in the aftermath of Deby’s death.

A coalition of civil society groups has urged people to take to the streets on Saturday to demand “a return to constitutional order”.

( Jowharwith AFP and AP)

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