The leaders of several African nations and the president of France on Friday attended the funeral of President Idriss Déby of Chad, one of Africa’s most enduring and feared autocrats whose death was announced this week.
Military leaders said on Tuesday that he had died from injuries sustained in clashes between rebels and government forces.
Despite abuses directed at his own people during his 31-year rule, Mr. Déby had benefited from the indulgence of Western powers as he remained a steady linchpin for their military interventions against Islamist insurgents in the region. His death has thrown the future of the vast African nation into uncertainty.
The Chadian military announced this week that Mr. Déby, 68, had died on Monday — the same day that his victory in a sixth election, marred by irregularities, had been confirmed.
Front for Change and Concord in Chad, threatened to march on Ndjamena on Friday, after the funeral, and had warned foreign leaders not to attend.
whether he was in fact killed by a rival.
At the funeral on Friday, Mr. Déby’s family praised “a great fighter” who was “obsessed with peace and the unity of Chadians.”
“You’ve left while walking toward the enemy,” said Abdelkrim Idriss Déby, another of Mr. Déby’s sons.
Mr. Macron said Mr. Déby had lived as a soldier and died as one.
“Idriss, you were an exemplary leader and a courageous warrior, but you also knew the value of diplomacy and cooperation between peoples,” Mr. Macron said at the funeral on Friday.