Chadian opposition leader says several relatives were killed in domestic raid News Idriss Deby

Yaya Dillo told reporters that his mother and son were among five family members killed when security forces attacked his home in N’Djamena.

A former rebel leader and candidate for Chad’s upcoming presidential election said security forces attacked his home in the capital N’Djamena and killed several members of his family.

Yaya Dillo told French RFI radio that he was attacked Sunday morning by members of the presidential guard, led by the son of Chadian President Idriss Deby.

“At 5 am, they attacked my house. The president’s guard … They killed my mother, my son and three [other relatives],” he said.

A government statement said the raid was an operation to arrest Dillo, who he said failed to fulfill two court warrants.

He said government forces opened fire after encountering armed resistance. Two people were killed and five injured in the ensuing fight, including three police officers, he said.

Netblocks, a UK-based service that tracks internet disruptions, reported that internet access in N’Djamena was cut off on Sunday.

Dillo said his house has been surrounded by government forces since the incident.

Dillo is an official rebel leader who fought against Deby in 2006 before joining his government and becoming a minister. More recently, he was Chad’s representative to the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC).

He is one of 16 people who have announced they will run against Deby in the April election.

Deby, who has been in power since 1990, passed a new constitution in 2018 that restored term limits but could let him stay in power until 2033.

Hundreds of people took to the streets earlier this month to protest his candidacy in the upcoming elections.

Deby has faced strikes and protests in recent years over economic hardship caused by low oil prices and armed rebellions in the north, but relied on his effective control of the media and institutions of ‘State to maintain its political domination.

Chad is a key ally of Western nations in the fight against armed groups in West and Central Africa.

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