France's Macron attends funeral of Chadian president Idriss Déby
French President Emmanuel Macron was among foreign dignitaries in N'Djamena on Friday to attend the funeral of Chad's leader Idriss Déby, who was killed this week in fighting with rebels.
Macron, Guinean President Alpha Condé and several other African heads of state attended Déby's funeral, as the rebels called a temporary ceasefire to allow the ceremony to take place.
The Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) – formed by dissident army officers in 2016 – reported that their command centre had been bombed in an attempt to kill their leader, Mahamat Mahadi Ali.
The rebels said the French air force assisted Wednesday night's air raid with aerial surveillance.
"Our command was bombed on the orders of the military junta with the complicity of foreign agencies present in our country," FACT said in a statement.
French security officials were yet to comment on the alleged strike, but have previously said they provide logistical support to the Chadian armed forces.
Deby, who ruled for 30 years, was a staunch ally of Western powers in the fight against Islamist militants in the region.
His death came as election officials announced he had won a sixth term in office.
France considers intervention
The rebels have since swept south across the desert from their bases in Libya towards N'Djaména and said they were around 200-300 km from the Chadian capital.
French diplomatic and military sources have indicated that Paris would seriously consider intervening if the rebels – who are not linked to armed Islamists active in the region – were to close in on N’Djamena and threaten the stability of the country.
- France raises concerns about Chad's stability after Déby's death
- France says Chad’s Déby was 'essential' ally in fight against terrorism
On Thursday, Macron held talks with Chad's military council headed by Déby's son, Mahamat Idriss Déby, who took power after his father died.
The 37-year-old, who holds the rank of general, said the army will hold democratic elections in 18 months.
Opposition leaders have condemned Mahamat's takeover as a coup and have called for acts of civil disobedience, while an army general said many officers were opposed to the transition plan.
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