Chad rebels open to ceasefire agreement

·1-min read

Rebel fighters in Chad say they are ready to discuss a ceasefire after days of fighting that led to the death of President Idriss Deby.

In a statement to Chad's civil society groups and opposition figures on Sunday, the Front for Change and Concord in Chad said it would observe a ceasefire if the Chadian military did too.

FACT's representatives in Europe communicated the offer to Chadian civil society groups, said civil society spokesman Wax Loalngar.

The rebels also hope to begin a dialogue with Chadian authorities, with the oversight of the African Union.

However Chad's military leaders rejected FACT's offer in a national television broadcast.

Chadian troops and rebel fighters are locked in combat in Ziguey, a region about 350 kilometres northwest of the capital N'Djamena. Dozens of people have been killed in the fighting.

The heavily armed rebels entered northern Chad from Libya soon after the April 11 election.

FACT is a military and political rebel movement founded in 2016 that seeks to destabilise Deby's government.

Deby was killed on the frontlines of battle.

The announcement of his death came just a day after the country's electoral commission announced he had won 79.32 per cent of the vote.

Deby, in power for 30 years, faced increasing dissent in a country where mismanagement, corruption, nepotism and falling oil prices have exacerbated poverty.

He was buried on Friday in a funeral attended by thousands of citizens, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and the EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell.

Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, the son of the late president, was immediately installed as president of an 18-month transitional military government and serves as president and chief of the army.

The government and the National Assembly were dissolved.