- African nations in the Sahel have been called upon to make efforts towards restoring lasting peace in Chad
- The call was made by the federal government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- The ministry noted that the absence of a powerful leader like late Idriss Deby can negatively affect unity and stability in the country
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Nigeria's government has warned that the unrest in Chad following the death of Idriss Deby and the interim transition of power to his son, General Mahamat Kaka, could spark a serious crisis in the Sahel.
In a press statement released on Wednesday, April 21, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that the temporary military rule in the Central African nation is good at the moment to effect fragile peace and stability.
However, the minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, in the statement pointed out clearly that the ultimate and long-term solution is the return to democracy.
Onyeama noted that if nothing drastic is done on time, the vacuum created by the sudden death of the president could lead to an implosion in the African subregions.
“An early return to democratic governance in Chad should be the ultimate goal but the immediate objective is the stabilisation of Chad as well as the regions of ECCAS, ECOWAS, and the Sahel.
“His demise could lead to vacuums that could implode in these subregions, hence the need to appeal to all stakeholders in Chad to embrace dialogue to resolve their differences in the interest of peace and the sustainable development of Chad."
The Nigerian leader, in a tweet sent by one of his media aides, Garba Shehu, said that "the sudden and tragic death of Deby on the front line, fighting against rebel soldiers, came as a rude shock to him.
In a tone of regret, President Buhari said:
"I'm deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country."
The president added that as an enthusiastic friend of Nigeria, late Deby was very instrumental in the joint battle against the Boko Haram terrorists. He went ahead to state that "the death of Deby will surely create a huge vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province."