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Chad’s first President Ngarta Tombalbaye: Shot dead by his own army

In depth
This article is part of the dossier: ‘We killed the President!’

By Mathieu Olivier
Posted on Friday, 5 November 2021 18:23

Chad Ngarta Tombalbaye
Ngarta Tombalbaye in 1974 © AFP

As the trial of the presumed assassins of Burkina Faso's Thomas Sankara has begun, we take a look at the tragic destinies of eight assassinated African presidents. Today, we look back at the death of Chadian President Ngarta Tombalbaye, shot by members of his own army on April 13, 1975.

This is part 2 of an 8-part series

The sun had not yet fully risen over the city of N’Djamena on Sunday 13 April 1975. The tired  gendarmes had not been able to sleep for the past few hours. Positioned on the left bank of the Chari River, they gathered under the cover of darkness. Discreetly, they implemented their leaders’ plan.

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