France's foreign minister beats rebels in Chad to prevent a coup against President Idriss Debbie, Foreign Minister Jean-Eve Le Diane said on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: Chad President Idriss Debbie arrives on a visit and dinner at the Orsay Museum on the eve of a ceremony honoring the Day of Armistice in Paris, France, November 10, 2018.
At Debbie's request, the French military planes bombarded a heavily armed rebel convoy, which last week passed from Libya deep into Chad territory.
"There was an assault by a rebel group that came from South Libya to take power with power in NJJ. President Debbie asked us to intervene in writing to prevent a coup and defend our country, "Le Diane told lawmakers.
The French jets destroyed dozens of pickpockets and the Chad army subsequently claimed to have seized more than 250 rebels from the UFR, the Libya-based rebel coalition.
Debbie faces several riots after he took power in a military coup in 1990. International observers questioned the fairness of the elections that kept him in power, and last year Debbie watched the constitutional reform that would allow him to remain in power until 2033.
France intervened in 2008 to stop the UFR from relegating Debbie.
President Emanuel Macron said he wanted new relations with former French colonies and that the era of leadership support in return for lucrative contracts for French companies – a policy known as La Francafrique – is over.
France, however, believes that the Chad troops are vital to the fight against Islamist militants in West Africa and founded its 4500-strong Burkhan counter-terrorism force in Ndjamena.
"This (intervention) is fully in line with international law," said Le Diane.
The invasion that the Chadian troops tried to halt underlined that Debbie's fight against Islamist militants in the region has stretched its military forces. Military efforts have diverted funds from public services and the economy by fueling public discontent in one of the poorest nations in the world.
Reporting by John Irish; edited by Richard Lough