Chad Left Without a Leader

Julia Brennan

April 20, 2021

Amongst all of the uncertainty and chaos that has encapsulated our world in the past year, the African nation of Chad has just taken another loss in what seems to be a never-ending year.

Amidst the tumult created by COVID-19, Chad has just lost their strong leader, who was in power for an extensive period of time. Idriss Déby, who was 68 years old, functioned as the leader of Chad for over 30 years. On Monday, exuberant crowds gathered celebrating his victory as he won his 6th term in office. On Tuesday, however, it was revealed to the dismay of his people that he had died from gunshot wounds he received in battle as he fought against a group of insurgents looking to alter and repossess the power of Chad’s government. The deceased leader was a trained militant who came into power via a takeover executed by the armed forces in the 1990s. Since then, he has ruled Chad in a strict manner with much confidence in his ability to influence the actions of the citizens. His time in office is characterized by his persistent and fervent fight against Islamic extremism in the country, specifically the group known as the Sahels. The manner in which former president Idriss Déby ruled is certainly viewed as controversial. Some saw him as a tyrant, who committed several egregious acts that breached basic human rights. Furthermore, he was seen as well as a power-hungry leader who unfairly utilized his status to subjugate the ability for his adversaries to fairly run against him, as well as the ability for the citizens to vote for whomever they believed would be the most beneficial leader. However, Idriss Déby’s rule came with numerous upsides. Surrounded by nations with unstable governments, Déby provided his region of Africa with a strong, capable government that was for the most part, fair to its citizens. Additionally, he tenaciously fought against the Sahels and other Islamic extremism that plagued his nation. This earned him a positive image in the eyes of Western countries and landed him strong allies in France and the USA. Whatever the perception of the deceased president may be, one thing is for certain, Chad is now lacking a stable leader in a time where filling this position with a solid leader is salient. Many people will look to fill this seat but for now, Idriss Déby’s son, Mahammat Idriss Déby, will be the interim leader for the time being. When free elections are able to occur, the eyes of the world will be on Chad to see who will fill this incredibly important position of power.