Chad’s military leader leaves for talks in France

The head of Chad’s junta, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, left N’Djamena on Sunday for a “friendship and working visit” to France, his office said.

The 37-year-old four-star general has led the junta since the announcement in April that his father and veteran leader Idriss Deby Itno had been killed while leading troops against rebels.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, of the Transition Council (MTC), “left N’Djamena this morning headed for Paris”,  his office said in a statement that gave no details of his itinerary while in the French capital.

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A member of the Chadian delegation told AFP he would have dinner with French Macron on Sunday.

Chad, becomes the third country visited by Deby, and the first outside Africa, after trips to and Nigeria.

The MTC has promised “free and transparent” elections after an 18-month transitional period, which could be extended.

The international community, including and the African Union, have urged that this period should not exceed 18 months.

The Chadian army, along with French troops, is one of the main pillars of the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel region.

Macron was the only Western head of state to attend the funeral of Idriss Deby Itno and meet his son Mahamat.

Macron recently announced a gradual pullout of French troops from the Sahel region in favour of a smaller contingent focussed on anti- and helping African armies.

 

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