The son of Chad’s slain leader Idriss Deby took over as president and armed forces commander on Wednesday as rebel forces threatened to march on the capital, deepening the turmoil in a country vital to international efforts to combat Islamist militants in Africa. Reuters reports that the political opposition also denounced the military’s takeover of control, calling the move a coup d’etat, while labour unions called for a workers’ strike. In his first public comments since taking power, the younger Deby sought to reassure the nation though, saying the army wanted to return power to a civilian government and hold free and democratic elections in 18 months.