Chad’s military leader, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, was named the nation’s transition president Saturday and will govern for a non-renewable two years transition period until elections.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of a National Sovereign Inclusive Dialogue which was launched Aug. 20.
At a ceremony in the capital, N'Djamena, the National Sovereign Inclusive Dialogue forum announced that the “Transitional Military Council that had ruled the country for 18 months has been dissolved, and appointed Mahamat Deby as president of the transition.”
In his speech before a packed audience of civilians and military, Deby promised to work to “achieve the prescribed deadlines for the return to constitutional order.”
He urged politico-military groups to choose peace and national harmony and promised to release all prisoners of war in exchange for a cease-fire and dialogue.
He appealed to political parties and civil groups that boycotted the talks to back efforts aimed at uniting the country.
“I would like to remind them that the dialogue is a continuous process aimed to build a nation that brings us together at all times. You can join the process in the interest of our common future,” he said.
The younger Deby had pledged to hand over power to an elected government after 18 months -- a deadline that has not been achieved. The deadline was supposed to end in October.
The international community had urged Deby not to run for president in the post-transition.
But the national dialogue forum gave Deby a green light to run at the end of the transition, among a raft of resolutions adopted under a revised transition charter.
Deby took leadership of Chad last year following the death of his father, Idriss Deby Itno, who died on the frontline of a war against rebels after ruling for 30 years.
Following his death, the army appointed a Transitional Military Council with 15 generals that was headed by Deby.