It is with deep regret that African Parks learned of the passing of the Field Marshal of Chad, President of the Republic, Head of State, Idriss Deby Itno, following a statement issued on April 20th by the National Army of Chad.

African Parks has been honoured to work in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Chad for over a decade, under whose leadership the country has emerged as a leading light for conservation in Africa, leveraging the preservation of its unique natural heritage to advance the national development programme.

Since the inception of our partnership for Zakouma National Park, at the invitation of the Chadian Government under the leadership of President Idriss Deby Itno in 2010, Zakouma has been transformed into a secure wildlife haven. It has provided a foundation for stability, enabling thousands of people to benefit from investment in the park and in socio-economic development. Zakouma has become a national icon that has earned wide recognition as one of the world’s most exemplary wildlife tourism destinations, creating a sustainable source of revenue and employment for local communities. Building on this remarkable momentum, the Chadian Government made further visionary conservation commitments. In 2017, they established the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem, incorporating the adjoining Siniaka Minia and Bahr Salamat Wildlife Reserves to expand protection for this crucial Sudano-Sahelian landscape. Subsequently in 2018, they formed a second partnership with African Parks to ensure the long-term protection and revitalization of Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve, a World Heritage Site of significant importance for people and wildlife.

African Parks is proud to share this vision working alongside the Chadian Government to achieve a lasting national legacy of ecological, economic and social prosperity.

We offer our profound condolences and respects to the family of President Idriss Deby Itno, and to the people and the Government of the Republic of Chad in this moment of national mourning.