Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno has been named a field marshal by parliament.
field marshal is the highest military rank in the country.
Deby took power in a coup in 1990
The honour was given to him during Tuesday’s celebration of the country’s 60th anniversary of independence from France.
He added: I dedicate this supreme dignity to my brothers in arms. It is to them that the merit of the feats of arms goes, which is hailed by the people.
The parliamentary speaker explained it was a recognition after he led an offensive against jihadists in April.
“You are an icon and a symbol for Chad,” the speaker of the assembly, Haroun Kabadi, was quoted as saying during the ceremony.
Déby has been accused of misusing income from Chad’s nascent oil industry, spending much of the proceeds for weapons to aid in the fight against his detractors rather than for the food assistance, infrastructure development, and education and health programs that his country so desperately needed.
Comme il est de tradition, j'ai assisté à la cérémonie de prise d'armes marquant le 60ème anniversaire de l'accession du Tchad à la souveraineté internationale. Je rends hommage à tous nos martyrs. pic.twitter.com/m2O4BVJQ5S
— Maréchal Idriss Deby Itno (@MIdrissDebyItno) August 11, 2020
Boko Haram’s insurgency, launched in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has killed more than 36,000 people and displaced more than two million from their homes.
The violence has since spread to Niger, Chad and Cameroon. In March, Chad’s armed forces suffered their biggest single-day loss, when 98 soldiers were massacred in their base at Bohoma, on the banks of Lake Chad.
In response, Deby launched an offensive from March 31 to April 3, declaring at its end that there was “not a single jihadist left” in the Lake Chad region.
But sporadic violence has continued, with an attack attributed to Boko Haram on an army vehicle earlier last month killing eight Chadian soldiers.
Deby on Saturday insisted that there were no Boko Haram fighters left on Chadian territory but that cross-border raids from Nigeria and Niger were continuing at night
Déby’s presidential powers were expanded when a new constitution was promulgated in May 2018. The elimination of the prime minister post, which left executive power concentrated with the president, was among the changes made under the new constitution, as was change to the presidential terms: the stipulation of a five-year term with no term limits was replaced by a six-year term with a limit of two terms. Because the presidential term changes would not be applied retroactively, Déby now had the option to stand in the next two presidential elections, potentially remaining in office until 2033.