Foreign leaders began to arrive in Chad on Thursday for the funeral of slain president Idriss Deby as France backed the country’s new military leaders in the face of threats from rebels to resume an offensive on the capital.
The presidents of Guinea and Mali arrived in the capital N’Djamena, state television showed, despite warnings from the rebels that foreign leaders should not attend for security reasons.
French President Emmanuel Macron was also due to travel to Chad overnight for the funeral on Friday.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the military was justified in its actions as the speaker of parliament had declined to take charge.
Ten African presidents and prime ministers including Guinea’s Alpha Conde, Mali’s Bah Ndawand, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Felix Tshisekedi were due to arrive on Thursday for the funeral, the government said.
Despite the rebel threat, people went about their business as usual in N’Djamena on Thursday, with some saying they were frustrated and worried about the situation.