Thousands gather to wish Chad's slain president 'a deserved rest'

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Thousands of people gathered at the main square in Chad's capital N'Djamena on Friday to pay their respects to the late President Idriss Deby, who was killed while leading his troops against a rebel offensive on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron, Guinean President Alpha Conde and several other African leaders attending the funeral, despite rebel warnings they should not attend for security reasons.

Deby ruled Chad for more than 30 years and was one of Africa's wiliest political survivors, holding on to power despite rebellions that reached as far as his palace gates.

Although criticised by human rights groups for his repressive rule, he established himself as a key military ally of Western powers in the international fight against Islamist militants.

A crowd gathers to witness the state funeral for t
A crowd gathers to witness the state funeral for the late Chadian president Idriss Deby in N'Djamena. (Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/Pool/AFP)

"He liberated our country from dictatorship and gave us the opportunity to participate fully in democracy," said Emmanuel Gaba, a young resident of the capital.

His death was announced by the army on Tuesday, a day after election officials said he had won a sixth term in office. Most of the opposition boycotted the vote.

"He protected us for so long that today we have come to wish him eternal rest. A deserved rest," said Hassan Adoum, who attended the ceremony.

On Thursday a car with mounted speakers drove around N'Djamena telling residents not to panic if they hear cannon fire as Deby would receive a 21-gun salute.


Did you know you can comment on this article? Subscribe to News24 and add your voice to the conversation.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
As South Africa faces down the third Covid-19 wave, how are you keeping your family safe ?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Staying at home, isolating and being careful
19% - 562 votes
Sanitising and wearing masks when we go out
67% - 1955 votes
Going on as usual, we're not afraid of the virus
13% - 382 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.13
-0.0%
Rand - Pound
19.92
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
17.16
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.00
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.0%
Gold
1,843.76
0.0%
Silver
27.42
0.0%
Palladium
2,894.50
0.0%
Platinum
1,229.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
68.71
+2.5%
Top 40
60,573
+0.6%
All Share
66,598
+0.7%
Resource 10
69,386
-0.1%
Industrial 25
83,277
+0.9%
Financial 15
12,685
+1.5%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo