Chad’s New Leader Visits Niger in 1st International Trip


NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Chad’s new leader Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby traveled to Niger on Monday, making his first international trip since the military put him in charge last month following the death of his father.

Deby arrived in Niger’s capital, Niamey, where he was greeted by Niger’s Prime Minister Ouhoumoudou Mahamadou and other dignitaries. The 37-year-old Chadian head of state is expected to meet with Niger’s new President Mohamed Bazoum.

Some 1,200 Chadian soldiers are deployed in western Niger near the border with Burkina Faso, where extremist attacks have been increasing over the past few years.

Chad and Niger are both members of the G5 Sahel, a regional security force battling extremism, alongside Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania.

Chad’s military government now in charge has blamed the death of longtime President Idriss Deby Itno on a rebel group, and said some of the militants had then retreated across the border into Niger.

The younger Deby has sought to move forward despite lingering concerns by opposition groups that he should not have been handed control of the country. Under the country’s constitution, power should have been given to the president of the National Assembly.

However, a number of opposition politicians have since been named to prominent positions within the military-led transitional government, including the posts of prime minister and justice minister.

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