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Chad on Friday staged a state funeral for veteran ruler Idriss Deby Itno, a key figure in the fight against the Sahel's jihadist insurgency, as France and regional allies voiced backing for his son and successor, Mahamat Idriss Deby.

Africa

Chad bans protests ahead of vote announcement

N’Djamena, Chad, Feb 2 – Chad’s government has barred the opposition from staging protests ahead of an expected announcement by President Idriss Deby Itno’s party that the veteran leader will be its champion in upcoming elections.

In a decree published late Monday, Public Security Minister Mahamat Tahir Orozi said the authorities “cannot allow the holding of such protests, which have the potential to provoke public disorder across the country.”

The organisers told AFP the demonstrations were “peaceful marches” for political change and equality and vowed to carry on with them as scheduled. They are due to take place every day from Thursday to Sunday.

Deby, a 68-year-old former army chief, has been in power since December 1990, when he ousted the autocratic Hissene Habre.

He has been re-elected every five years since then, thanks to constitutional changes approved by a referendum in 2005 to remove limits on presidential terms.

He is expected to be named by his party on Saturday as its candidate for the April 11 elections.

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