This is part 5 of an 8-part series
It was 19 April 2021. A persistent rumour was circulating in the top-secret corridors of Franco-African politics. There were those who did not dare say it out loud and those who simply did not want to believe it… But the story spread, from one person “learning about it” to another: Idriss Déby Itno had been killed in fighting between his army and the rebels of the Front pour l’Alternance et la Aoncorde au Tchad (FACT) – a military and political organisation with the goal of overthrowing the Chadian government. In Paris, the headquarters of the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), France’s foreign intelligence agency, was on high alert.
The ‘swimming pool’ – the DGSE’s other nickname, inherited from the sports arena located not far from its premises on Boulevard Mortier – had its ‘big ears’ in place.
In N’Djamena, the agency maintained
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In
Also in this in Depth:
tough talkNiger’s Mohamed Bazoum: ‘Arming civilians to fight terrorists is a tragic mistake.’ Mali, Burkina Faso, anti-French sentiment, Wagner, democracy, corruption…Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum speaks has no qualms about speaking his mind.
human rights?Ethiopia: New scheme to export maids to Saudi Arabia after ban due to rights abuses lifted Ethiopia has started a scheme to send 500,000 house maids to Saudi Arabia, swallowing its concerns over human rights abuses in a bid to tackle depressed foreign currency reserves and inject vitality into key economic sectors.
PRESIDENTIAL WHISPERERNigeria’s opposition should abandon bid to overturn Tinubu’s election, says Lai Mohammed Speaking to ‘The Africa Report’ in the run-up to the inauguration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu this week, outgoing information minister Lai Mohammed has dismissed the chances of opposition parties changing the presidential election result.
Dissenting voicesKenya: Rebellion rocks ruling party over mandatory housing levy One resignation and open defiance by some ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party MPs show cracks in President William Ruto’s proposal to increase taxes and introduce a mandatory Housing Fund levy among employees.