Idriss Déby, who ruled with an iron fist for three decades and had just secured his sixth term in office, was considered by the West a linchpin in the fight against Islamist extremism in central Africa.
President Idriss Déby of Chad died of wounds sustained in clashes between insurgents and government soldiers, the country’s armed forces said on Tuesday, one day after he had claimed victory in his re-election campaign.
According to the New York Times, It was reported that a spokesman appeared on state television to inform the nation that Mr. Déby, who became feared by his own people over three decades of iron-fisted rule in Chad, was dead.
Mr. Déby had enjoyed the support of France and the United States because his military forces were seen as key to battling Islamist extremism in the central Sahel region. His contribution to the fight against groups like Boko Haram in neighboring Nigeria was viewed as critical in the broader effort to combat terrorism. He, therefore, received robust Western support despite accusations of human rights violations and crackdowns on the opposition during his rule.
There were many questions surrounding Mr. Déby’s death, including how exactly he was killed and what he was doing visiting an area where conflict was raging, if indeed he was.
The late president’s son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, will take over as the head of a new transitional military council that will rule for 18 months before new elections are held, the spokesman said. The government and national assembly were suspended, borders closed and a two-week mourning period announced.
The news was relayed to the country by a man who was identified as a spokesman for a transitional military council, Gen. Azem Bermandoa.
“The president of the republic, head of state, supreme chief of the army, Idriss Déby Itno, just drew his last breath while defending the nation’s integrity on the battlefield,” the spokesman, surrounded by soldiers and wearing a red beret and army fatigues, said in the broadcast.
On the same day as the presidential election, April 11, rebels crossed the northern border from Libya. Mr. Déby, 68, had been on the front lines in the north of the central African country, directing the fight against the rebel incursion, according to his campaign director, Mahamat Zen Bada.
Those rebels, from a group called the Front for Change and Concord in Chad, moved southward in several columns and claimed to have “liberated” a province of the country last week.
They reportedly beat a retreat to the north on Monday night, after reports of heavy losses on both rebel and government sides. But for the roughly 1.5 million residents of Ndjamena, the capital, solid information was hard to come by, with rumors spreading furiously.
Late into the night, gunshots rang out across the capital, though it was unclear why. Some residents theorized that the military had been celebrating victory after the rebels had fallen back.
Mr. Déby had been scheduled to give a victory speech on Monday to celebrate winning his sixth term in office, but his campaign director said that he had instead visited Chadian soldiers battling insurgents advancing on Ndjamena.
“The candidate would have liked to have been here to celebrate,” Mr. Zen Bada, the campaign director, had said, according to local news reports. “But right now, he is alongside our valiant defense and security forces to fight the terrorists threatening our territory.”
Over the three decades, since Mr. Déby seized power, he faced a number of challenges to his rule. Rebels reached the capital in 2006 and 2008. The president’s forces fought them off, with the “discreet” support of France, according to academics focused on Chad.
But in 2019, when Chad asked the French force in the Sahel for help in dealing with another incursion, Paris was less discreet about the support and obliged by launching a series of airstrikes on the rebels.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister, told Parliament at the time, “France intervened militarily to prevent a coup d’état.”
Mr. Déby was re-elected largely on the promise of restoring peace and security to a country gripped by years of violence instigated by insurgent groups. Tensions rose in the days before the latest elections, but officials had urged calm.
On Monday, security forces and armored vehicles were posted to Ndjamena’s streets, prompting residents of the capital to fill up their tanks with gas, pick up their children early from school and hunker down at home. Chad’s communications minister had called for calm and wrote on Twitter on Monday that the presence of the security personnel had been “misinterpreted.”
Oleksandr Usyk Defeats Anthony Joshua to Emerge the New Heavyweight Champion of the World
Oleksandr Usyk, Ukrainian undefeated unified Cruiserweight of the world, defeated Anthony Joshua in a largely one sided fight in Tottenham, United Kingdom.
The Ukrainian won unanimously on the three scorecards, 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113, to emerge the new heavyweight champion of the world.
Anthony Joshua was outboxed and outclassed from the very first round to the 12th round. Flat footed in the first half of the fight and seems confused and lost with Usyk’s classic movements, jab and the aggressiveness expected from Anthony Joshua.
Usyk was the one that imposed himself on Anthony Joshua and consistently push the former champion back while touching him with jabs.
Joshua was slower – although clearly more powerful – and he did hurt Usyk at times but not enough to break the Ukrainian confidence.
Usyk, in the final round, looks bouncier, more mobile, while Joshua seems to know that he needs to try and unload a big shot or two and knock this man out to have any chance. But it was Usyk who keeps coming forward and forces the former champion on to the back foot.
Joshua ducks and dives as Usyk, who is such an awkward figher, keeps coming forward and keeps throwing shots. Joshua winds up a big right hand but misses. The two trade blows before the bell and Joshua is rocked! Joshua was nearly knocked out in round 12.
Anthony Joshua’s manager, Eddie Hearn, who spoke after the fight said: “I spoke to him … obviously it was a tough fight, a gruelling fight … a devastating defeat. Congrats to Usyk, what a fighter, the better man won. The danger was you overthink it and try and be too technical and don’t use your attributes … it was all the things you worry about against a fighter like Usyk. No complaints from AJ, he’ll get up, and he’ll go again. This was just being beat by a better man on the night.”
Chris Eubank Jr, who works as Skysport pundit for the fight, said “I’m gobsmacked, flabbergasted … I didn’t see the fight going that way at all. It’s only his [Usyk’s] third heavyweight fight. It was a masterclass. One of the biggest statements in boxing for a very long time. Full credit to the guy.”
“It was just a boxing clinic,” adds another pundit.
Delighted former Ukrainian world’s heavyweight champion, Vitali Klitschko, told Sky: “Excellent fight … very clever. I’m very happy. Actually he did a perfect job.” Usyk then arrives on the scene during the interview and Klitschko congratulates him heartily.
Anthony Joshua is now had 26 fights with 24 wins (22 KO) and 2 losses.
President Buhari To Speak At The 76th UN General Assembly By 2 PM
President Muhammadu Buhari is set to address the 76th Session of the high-level General Debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
The Nigerian leader will deliver his address at 2 PM Nigerian time (9 AM in New York) to other world leaders during the morning session.
Buhari will speak to the theme of the Assembly and other global issues.
The theme for the 76th session is, “Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nation’’.
Friday’s session will also include speeches by leaders from The Gambia, South Sudan, Republic of Benin, Senegal and Germany, among others.
The Nigerian leader has participated in some bilateral meetings with a number of leaders of other countries’ delegations and heads of International Development organisations.
Buhari has met with the President of Burundi, Evariste Ndayishimiye, held a meeting with Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and also attended the UN Food Systems Summit.
The Nigerian leaders also held a bilateral meeting with Her Majesty, Maxima Zorreguieta, Queen of The Netherlands and participated at a hybrid High-Level event, tagged “Transformative Actions for Nature and People”.
In addition, the President delegation had participated in other high-level meetings such as the Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action on Reparations, Racial Justice and Equality for People of African Descent.
The delegation is also attended the High-Level Plenary Meeting to commemorate and promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, among others.
Over 8,000 Nigerian Doctors Now Work In UK, 353 Registered In The Last 100-Day
The United Kingdom (UK) registered about 353 Nigerian doctors in the last 100 days, according to data from the General Medical Council – the body which licenses and maintains the official register of medical practitioners in the UK.
The GMC licensed at least 353 Nigerian-trained doctors between June 10, 2021, and September 20, 2021.
The statistics also showed that between July 24, 2020, and September 21, 2021, about 862 Nigeria-trained doctors were licensed in the UK despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The data also showed that 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria currently practice in the UK.
Officials of the National Association of Resident Doctors are speculating that the rate of migration might double in the coming weeks since doctors were not given the right remuneration.
They said that many Nigerian doctors are migrating to Saudi Arabia, which might be more than those moving to the UK.
A poll by NOI in 2018 showed that 88 percent of Nigerian doctors were considering work opportunities abroad, but experts say the figure may be higher due to the rising insecurity and economic crunch.
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