By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has declared three days of mourning following the death of Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno, a day ago.
Mr Déby, one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders, reportedly died of injuries from the frontline fighting rebels on Tuesday.
President Déby went to the front line at the weekend to visit troops battling rebels based across the border in Libya when he got Killed.
Two days before his death, provisional results from the election on 11 April projected Dèby would win a sixth term in office.
General Mahamat Kaka, President Idriss Déby ‘son, has been appointed the country’s new leader.
In his condolence message, President Salva Kiir described Déby as one of the figures who helped restore peace and stability in South Sudan.
“On behalf of South Sudan, I express my deepest sympathies to the Chadian people on the death of their president, who fell depending his country,” said Kiir. “I pray that God give all Chadians the comfort they need in this hour to endure this immense loss,” he added.
Kiir said Chad was among the High-Level Ad-hoc Committee established by the African Union in 2014 to help find ways of ending the South Sudan’s five years of conflict.
President also praised Déby for his pivotal role in supporting South Sudan mediate an end to the conflict between the Sudanese government and the various armed opposition groups.
“His behind the scenes work allowed us to achieve the historic Juba Peace Agreement in October, 2020,” said Kiir.
Déby attended the signing ceremony of that Juba peace accord in Juba last year.
“He will also be remembered across Africa for committing Chadian troops to G5 Sahel Joint Force and the Sahel Alliance, a multi-national force formed to deal with the threat posed by the Boko Haram and its affiliate militants in the region,” said Kiir.
Kiir further called on Chadians to “remain united both in action and purpose as they work to achieve meaningful transition that guarantees the stability in their country.”
Kiir ordered South Sudan’s flag shall fly at half-mast during the period of mourning.