Chad’s New Leader- Who is Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno

Becomes President Exactly same Age his Father Rose to Power

Compiled By Markson Omagor


(SOURCE: Agencies)


Lt Gen Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno has been named as the new leader of Chad, after his father Idriss Déby was killed during a battle with rebel forces.


Mahamat is now in charge of a 15-member Transitional Military Council (CMT) that will be in power for the next 18 months.


He has a reputation for discretion and shunning the limelight, unlike some of his half-brothers. However, he is a battle-hardened soldier like his father.


Mahamat, 37, is the same age as the late Déby was when he took power through a military coup in 1990.


Rapid rise through the army

Until his father’s death, he was the head of the elite presidential guard: the Directorate-General of the Security Services of State Institutions (DGSSIE). It played an important role in securing Idriss Déby’s grip on power.


Mahamat was one of several members of the late president’s family who occupied senior positions in the government.


He was reportedly at the frontline when his father was injured in combat against rebels in the western Kanem Province.


Mahamat is known as “General Kaka” because he was brought up by his grandmother, or “Kaka” in Chadian Arabic.


The younger Déby has had an extensive military career that has seen him rapidly rise in rank.


He received military training in Chad in the mid-2000s, followed by three months at the Lycee-Militaire in Aix-en-Provence, France.


He took part in operations against Chadian rebel groups, helping to defeat some of them while fighting for his cousin Timane Erdimi in the eastern region in 2009.

Then President Idriss Déby hailed his son Mahamat (r) when Chad’s forces returned from Mali in 2013

Mahamat was rapidly promoted and became a general in 2010 when he took command of the presidential guard’s armoured division.


In 2013, he was appointed deputy head of the Chadian forces in Mali, where he took part in operations alongside the French army in an operation which halted a jihadist advance towards the capital, Bamako.


At the time, he said: “It is not easy to capture a terrorist sanctuary like this… but we are aware that this is just one battle in the war.”


A year later, he was appointed to the elite presidential guard.


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