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AU calls for restoration of civilian rule in Chad

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ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP or licensors


The African Union (AU) called Friday evening for the restoration of civilian rule in Chad, where General Mahamat Idriss Déby took power this week following the death of his father Idriss Déby Itno.

In a statement, the AU Peace and Security Council, which is in charge of peace and security issues within the continental organisation, expressed its "grave concern" about the establishment of a military council headed by the son of the late president.

Idriss Déby Itno, 68, who led the country with an iron fist for 30 years, died on Monday, according to the presidency, as a result of wounds sustained at the front, in the north of the country, against rebels.

The regime of Idriss Déby was considered by the West, especially France, the former colonial power, as an essential partner in the war against jihadists in the Sahel.

His funeral was held on Friday in N'Djamena, in the presence of a dozen heads of state, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who called on the new government to promote "stability, inclusion, dialogue and democratic transition".

Mahamat Idriss Déby, 37, who dissolved the national assembly and government, has full powers but has promised new institutions after "free and democratic" elections in a year and a half.

The AU Peace and Security Council met on Thursday but waited until after Friday's funeral to issue its communiqué.