The head of Chad’s military junta, Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, left N’Djamena on Sunday for a “friendship and working visit” to France, according to a statement from his office.
The 37-year-old four-star general has led the junta since the announcement in April that his father and veteran leader Idriss Deby Itno had been killed while leading troops against rebels in the north of the country.
Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, president of the Military Transition Council (MTC), “left N’Djamena this morning headed for Paris”, his office said in a statement which gave no details of his itinerary while in the French capital.
A member of the Chadian delegation told the French AFP news agency that the general would have dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday.
France, the former colonial power in Chad, becomes the third country visited by Deby, and the first outside Africa, after trips to Niger and Nigeria.
Chad army claims victory against northern rebels after lengthy battle Military council in Chad names new transition governmentElections promised after transition
The MTC has promised “free and transparent” elections after an 18-month transitional period, which could be extended.
France and the African Union have urged that this period should not exceed 18 months.
The Chadian army, along with French troops, is one of the main pillars of the fight against jihadist groups in the Sahel region.
Macron was the only Western head of state to attend the funeral of Idriss Deby Itno and meet his son Mahamat.
Macron recently announced a gradual pullout of French troops from the Sahel in favour of a smaller contingent focussed on anti-terrorism and supporting African armies.