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Chad’s President Idriss Déby Dies After Soldier Clash With Rebels

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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.”

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ARISE News Channel Goes Global: Launches in Nine Southern African Countries

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Arise News

ARISE News Channel, a prominent Nigerian cable news network, has reached another significant milestone in its journey to become a global media powerhouse.

The channel has officially gone live in nine Southern African countries, including South Africa, Angola, and Botswana.

This expansion was made possible through a partnership with Multichoice/DSTV, with ARISE News Channel now available on Channel 416.

Alongside South Africa, Angola, and Botswana, the channel is now accessible to viewers in Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In a statement released by the Chief of Staff to Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of ARISE News Channel, Fauziya Ali Mohammed, it was revealed that the channel’s presence now spans 54 African countries.

Mohammed explained that ARISE News Channel is committed to delivering high-quality news coverage across the continent, showcasing various facets of African life, including business, politics, technology, commerce, science, sports, show business, and fashion.

ARISE News Channel, which celebrated its 11th anniversary earlier this year, has earned acclaim for its Emmy-winning programming.

It has become a leading broadcaster in Africa, offering audiences a diverse range of content while projecting the best of Africa’s culture and people to the world.

Chairman/Editor-in-Chief of ARISE News Channel, Nduka Obaigbena, expressed his excitement about the channel’s expansion into Southern Africa, emphasizing its commitment to promoting African narratives globally.

Obaigbena highlighted ARISE News Channel’s dedication to showcasing the continent’s potential and celebrating its achievements on the global stage.

The channel operates around the clock from studios located in Lagos, Abuja, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London, and New York.

Its coverage extends beyond traditional broadcasting platforms, reaching viewers across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the United States through various channels and streaming services.

With its latest expansion into Southern Africa, ARISE News Channel continues to solidify its position as a leading voice in African media, shaping narratives and fostering dialogue on issues of regional and global significance.

As the channel continues to grow its global footprint, it remains dedicated to providing audiences with insightful and impactful journalism that reflects the dynamism and diversity of the African continent.

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Air Peace Flight Delayed, Passengers Stranded After Failed Promise of Hotel Stay

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Passengers aboard an Air Peace flight from Abuja to Owerri found themselves in a state of disarray and frustration after a series of delays and unmet promises left them stranded without accommodations.

What was supposed to be a routine flight scheduled to depart Abuja at 4:30 PM and arrive in Owerri at 5:30 PM turned into a nightmare as the flight was delayed until 6:18 PM due to a reported lack of a pilot.

However, midway through the journey, passengers were informed that the flight couldn’t proceed to Owerri because the airport there would close by 6:40 PM.

The flight was forced to return to Abuja, where passengers endured further uncertainty as they waited for over 20 minutes to receive any communication from the airline. Eventually, they were informed of plans to provide a bus to transport them to a hotel for accommodation.

However, this promise was not fulfilled, leaving passengers stranded and scattered around the airport.

One passenger, who had already experienced delays with another airline earlier in the day, expressed frustration at the lack of accountability and protection for travelers.

The incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by passengers in Nigeria’s domestic aviation sector and raises questions about the adequacy of regulations to safeguard passengers’ rights.

Attempts to reach Air Peace for comment on the situation were unsuccessful at the time of reporting.

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Emirates Halts Check-Ins Amid Severe Weather Disruption

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Emirates Airline

Emirates, the largest international airline, has taken the unprecedented step of halting all passenger check-ins for the day.

The move comes as the emirate grapples with severe weather disturbances, including heavy rainfall and storms, leading to widespread travel chaos in one of the world’s busiest aviation hubs.

The airline announced that check-ins for all passengers would be suspended from 8 am local time until midnight, as the adverse weather conditions continue to wreak havoc on travel plans.

Despite the disruption, Emirates assured that transit passengers would still be allowed to proceed to their connecting flights.

Dubai, known for its modern infrastructure and bustling aviation industry, has been brought to a standstill by the relentless rainfall and storms.

The inclement weather has resulted in delayed or diverted flights, leaving travelers stranded and adding to the existing challenges posed by the ongoing global pandemic.

Emirates has pledged to exert all efforts to restore its scheduled operations and provide support to affected customers amidst the chaos.

However, the extent of the disruption caused by the adverse weather conditions underscores the resilience and adaptability required to navigate unforeseen challenges in the aviation sector.

As the situation unfolds, authorities and airline personnel are working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the severe weather on travel operations and ensure the safety and well-being of passengers.

Despite the temporary setback, Emirates remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of service excellence and operational efficiency, even in the face of unprecedented challenges posed by Mother Nature.

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