Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
May 3, 2021
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies, the news of the passing of President Idriss Déby Itno was a great shock to us, as it was to the rest of the world. I offer the heartfelt condolences of the Government of the United States to his family and loved ones, and to all the people of Chad, during this difficult time.
Today, we remember a leader and a partner who dedicated his life to the fight against violent extremism. His passing is a seismic development for Chad and the entire region. Most Chadians have never experienced another person in the presidency. President Déby’s death is a reminder to us all that the dangers faced by the people of Chad and its neighbors are real and present, and that we must seek stability and peace together. Today, we thank the people of Chad for their commitment to this goal, and for the many sacrifices that they have made in this pursuit.
In this moment of transition, we stand by the Chadian people in calling for an inclusive national dialogue, one in which all sectors of the society have a chance to shape the future of their country. This is their opportunity. That dialogue should deliver a timely transition to the democratically elected government that the people of Chad deserve. These next weeks and months will not be easy. But the Chadian people have time and time again shown the same resolve toward defeating violent extremism that their former president showed during his life.
Mr. President, Idriss Déby frequently said that he would depart the presidency as he entered it – par la grande porte. A military man at his core, Idriss Déby, a warrior, kept his word.