Fight With Terrorism In Sahel To Go On After Chadian Leader's Death - French Defense Chief

Fight With Terrorism in Sahel to Go on After Chadian Leader's Death - French Defense Chief

PARIS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 20th April, 2021) Following the death of Chadian President Idriss Deby, France has lost a significant ally in the fight against terrorism in Africa's Sahel region, but it will continue nonetheless, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said on Tuesday.

On Sunday, Deby, 68, who was recently re-elected for his sixth term, sustained injuries on the front lines during hostilities with insurgents in the country's north and died in hospital on Tuesday.

"I must say that France has lost its main ally in the fight against terrorism in the Sahel zone," Parly said at a joint press conference with German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, expressing condolences over Deby's death.

She stressed the importance of the democratic transition of power and the preservation of stability in the African nation, which is set to be governed by a military council led by Lieut. Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the son of the late president, for the next 18 months before the new government is elected.

"As for the rest, you understand that we need time to analyze all the consequences that [Deby's] death may lead to.

But it is clear that the fight against terrorism in the Sahel does not stop. And I have no doubt that we can continue what was started several years ago," Parly added.

France is present in the Sahel region through 5,000-strong Operation Barkhane, which has been leading the fight to curb the jihadist threat in the region. The mission comprises the military forces of France and the armies of the G5 Sahel bloc, which includes Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, and Mauritania.

In the meantime, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also expressed his condolences on the death of the Chadian leader.

"Chad has lost a friend of France and a reliable partner who has worked tirelessly for the security of his country and the stability of the Sahel," the statement published by the country's Foreign Ministry, read.

Deby, who ruled the African nation since 1990, had gathered nearly almost 80% of votes in the April 11 elections, according to the preliminary results.