Like father, like son! Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, known as Mahamat Kaka, is the head of the General Directorate of Security Services of State Institutions (DGSSIE) and one of the valiant warriors of the formidable Chadian army, which is waging a merciless war against terrorism in the Sahel. But Mahamat is now the president of Chad’s transitional military council (CMT), to run Chad for 18 months.
Army general and right-hand man of his late father Idriss Déby Itno, who died on Tuesday of wounds sustained while commanding his army in fighting against FACT rebels in the north over the weekend, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno alias « Mahamat Kaka » is now the strong man of Chad. He has been appointed as president of the Chadian Transitional Military Council (CMT), to ensure the destiny of Chad for the next 18 months, in order to stabilise the country before a new presidential election.
Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, 37, was raised by the Marshal’s mother and is therefore known as Mahamat Kaka (kaka means « grandmother » in Chadian Arabic). Mahamat, since he is the one in question, had a normal childhood like all the kids of his generation, before taking up the profession of arms, like his father Idriss Déby Itno. He attended the Groupement des écoles militaires interarmées du Tchad, and then briefly attended the Lycée militaire d’Aix-en-Provence.
On his return to the fold, his father Idriss Déby Itno placed him in the General Directorate of Security Services for State Institutions (DGSSIE), the regime’s Praetorian Guard. In May 2009, Mahamat Kaka, then aged 25, took part in the victorious battle of Am-Dam against a rebel coalition led by Timan Erdimi in eastern Chad. A year later, the young soldier, who had become seasoned in the field over the years, was given command of the armoured squadron and bodyguards within the DGSSIE.
Driven by an incredible determination and sense of duty under the command of his father and supreme leader of the Chadian Armed Forces, Idriss Déby Itno, Mahamat Kaka was then appointed to head the DGSSIE’s No. 1 group (out of three groups), responsible for the security of the presidential palace, in 2012.
In addition, Mahamat Kaka was appointed second-in-command of the Chadian Armed Forces in intervention in northern Mali (FATIM), under the command of General Oumar Bikomo, but would be its unofficial head, in 2013. His presence in the war against terrorism in the Sahel, particularly in Mali, with the Chadian army, had marked many minds on social networks and forced the admiration and respect of some and others, since it is never obvious to be the son of a President and participate in this kind of operation.
Today, with the death of his father, now ex-President of Chad, Idriss Déby Itno in particular, the task falls de facto to Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, as President of the Transitional Military Council of Chad, to preside over the destiny of this Central African country for the next 18 months.