Netanyahu sends condolences to slain leader of Chad who renewed Israel ties

“We will miss [Idriss Deby’s] bold leadership and always remember his historic decision to renew Chad’s relationship with Israel,” said Netanyahu.

By Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined world leaders on Tuesday in remembering Idriss Dby, the longtime president of Chad who died while visiting battlefront troops, and who in 2019 reestablished ties with the Jewish state.

“I send my deepest condolences to the people of Chad on the passing of President Idriss Deby,” the Prime Minister’s office wrote on Twitter. “We will miss his bold leadership and always remember his historic decision to renew Chad’s relationship with Israel.”

Deby, 68, was one the longest-ruling leaders in Africa, and had just been declared the winner in the country’s recent presidential contest, in a vote boycotted by much of the opposition. He succumbed to injuries sustained while visiting the front line in a battle against northern rebels, in the border region with Libya.

In 2019, Deby welcomed Netanyahu to the capital of N’Djamena, where the two reestablished ties with Israel, nearly five decades after cutting relations due to pressure from the Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

“Chad will do everything it can to strengthen the ties between the two countries and the bilateral cooperation in various matters,” Deby said in remarks at the time. “I note with satisfaction our shared view on the need to combine forces to tackle terrorism, which spares no country.”

Deby was also an ally of Western countries in the fight against Islamist terrorist groups, including including Boko Haram and others linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State in the Sahel.

A US State Department spokesperson extended condolences to the people of Chad in a statement Tuesday.

“We condemn recent violence and loss of life in Chad,” the spokesperson said. “The United States stands with the people of Chad during this difficult time. We support a peaceful transition of power in accordance with the Chadian constitution.”