400 Rebels Jailed to Life for Terrorism After Death of Former Ruler: Chad

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On Tuesday, a public prosecutor in Chad announced that over 400 rebels had been sentenced to life imprisonment following the death of former ruler Idriss Deby Itno in 2021.

The rebels were convicted for a range of offences including terrorism, mercenarism, recruitment of child soldiers, and assaulting the head of state.

Metro Lens

The trial took place behind closed doors at Klessoum prison, and 24 defendants were acquitted.

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

Marshal Deby died from wounds sustained in the fighting, just after being declared winner of a presidential election that gave him his sixth term. He was immediately succeeded by his son, General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno.

Several defendants were ordered to pay damages to the state and the ex-president’s family, and the FACT lawyer suggested there would be an appeal.

The main leaders of Chad’s opposition now live in hiding or in exile, despite the junta lifting a suspension of several opposition parties in January.

Despite criticism of his authoritarian rule, the elder Deby was a key ally in the West’s anti-jihadist campaign in the unstable Sahel.

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