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Chad’s new leader, General Mahamat Idriss Deby, yesterday made his first visit to Niger, a fellow West African country fighting jihadist insurgents, since coming to power at the head of a military junta after the shock death of his father last month.
Africa Daily News, New York recalls that the junta took charge on April 20 after President Idriss Deby Itno, Chad’s 30-year leader, died fighting rebels.
After arriving in Niamey, the Niger capital, the 37-year-old general held talks with newly elected President Mohamed Bazoum, an aide to Bazoum said.
He was then scheduled to head to the west of the country to meet Chadian troops deployed under a regional anti-jihadist mission.
Deby ‘came to see his troops (who are deployed) in Tera, and he used the occasion to hold talks’ with Bazoum, the source said, without giving further details.
Chad has 1,200 troops in western Niger under a five-nation initiative, the G5 Sahel, aimed at pooling military resources to fight an expanding jihadist insurgency in the region.
The Chadian military has a high standing in the region as a relatively well-equipped and -trained force.
Deby, in brief remarks to the Nigerien media, said, ‘We came here to affirm our friendship… to thank President Bazoum for all his support since the death of Field Marshal (Deby). We also came to show our support for our forces in Tera.’
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK