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Chad jails 400 rebels for life after ruler’s death

More than 400 rebels in Chad were handed life sentences on Tuesday, mainly in connection with the death of former ruler Idriss Deby Itno, who was killed in 2021, the prosecutor told AFP.

After a mass trial, they were sentenced for “acts of terrorism, mercenarism, recruitment of child soldiers and assaulting the head of state,” said Mahamat El-Hadj Abba Nana, the public prosecutor for the capital N’Djamena.

He did not give a detailed figure for those jailed, saying only that “more than 400 were sentenced” to life, while 24 other defendants were acquitted.

The trial opened last month behind closed doors in the Criminal Court of the Court of Appeal.

It took place within Klessoum prison about 20 kilometers southeast of the capital.

In early 2021, the country’s main rebel group, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), launched an offensive on the north of the country from its bases in Libya.

On April 20, the army announced that Marshal Deby, Chad’s iron-fisted ruler for the previous three decades, had died from wounds sustained in the fighting.

His death was announced just a day after he had been declared the victor of a presidential election that gave him a sixth term in office.

He was immediately succeeded by one of his sons, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, who took the helm at the head of the 15-member military junta.

He promised to hold free elections within 18 months, but that deadline was extended.

Protests last October to mark the initially promised end to military rule were met by a crackdown in which 50 people were killed, according to an official toll contested by opposition groups.

A total of 262 people were then handed terms of between two and three years after a trial in the notorious Koro Toro prison, isolated in the desert 600km from N’Djamena.

Despite criticism of his authoritarian rule, the elder Deby was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the unstable Sahel, particularly due to the relative strength of Chad’s military. 1


  1. news24

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