Behind the death of President Idriss Déby, the Islamic Action Front rebels came from Libya

Behind the death of President Idriss Déby, the Islamic Action Front rebels came from Libya

Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno, In power for 30 years, he died on April 20, 2021 with injuries State TV reported that he was received while leading his army in fighting the rebels in the north of the country. The first confrontation on the ground erupted on Saturday 17 April between government forces and the rebels of the Front for Rotation and Accord in Chad (fact). The fighting took place in Kanem province, more than 300 km from the capital, N’Djamena.

The Front launched its offensive from its rear bases in Libya on April 11, the day of the presidential elections in Chad. The Chadian army said it had killed more than 300 rebels who led an eight-day incursion into the north of the country and captured 150 prisoners and lost five soldiers in the fighting.

Although the Chadian authorities claim to have escaped a column of rebels, the Reality, Estimated at around 1,500 men, they still had a strong annoyance ability. According to security sources cited by Deutsche Welle, these battles also took place “Extremely cruel and bitter, with losses on both sides.”. According to these same sources, the rebels split into several pillars to attack on several fronts.

Only a portion of the FACT would have participated in the fighting, namely a column of several hundred men, aboard dozens of vehicles. Mystery still surrounds the movements of the rest of the rebels.

The Front of Rotation and Accord in Chad is a Chadian political-military group, consisting mainly of members of the Gorran ethnic group, to which former Chadian President Hossein Habré belongs. It was created in April 2016 by Muhammad Mahdi Ali Reality It settled in southern Libya and participated militarily, alongside the Misrata forces, against ISIS and the Libyan National Army led by General Khalifa Haftar.

In March 2017, the rebel group will give its hand to the Benghazi Defense Brigades. But the decision to return to Chad is recent, and it may come after pressure from the international community, which asked the government in Tripoli to remove all foreign armed groups from the country. In addition to the seasoned fighters, the FACT is powerful thanks to all the weapons they brought from Libya.

The rebel movements – and ethnic ones – have always been present in the rocky Tibesti region bordering Libya, but also in the northeast of the country, on the border with Sudan. Chadian rebels regularly face the army from their rear bases in these countries.

In 2008, thanks to the support of the French army, an extreme attack at the gates of the Presidential Palace in N’Djamena failed. In 2019, an opposition column attempted a new incursion from Libya, but the French Mirage strikes stopped it away from the capital. This time again, Idriss Déby undoubtedly thinks he can hold off these rebels.

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