The state funeral of longtime president of Chad Idriss Déby is held in the capital N’Djamena.
The army says he died in a battle with dissident army rebels, called Fact, in the north of the country on Tuesday.
Some foreign leaders ignored warnings from rebels not to participate for security reasons.
Among those present are heads of state of France, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Nigeria.
Friday’s ceremony includes a military march and a speech by his son and the army’s appointed successor, General Mahamat “Kaka” Déby Itno.
After the ceremony in N’Djamena, Déby will be buried in his native region.
After military honors and various speeches, a prayer will be recited in the Grand Mosque of N’Djamena, reports Lalla Sy of the BBC.
Then, in the early afternoon, Mr. Déby’s remains will be flown to Amdjarass, a small village near his hometown of Berdoba, more than 1,000 km (600 miles) from the capital, near the Sudanese border.
News of his shocking death on Tuesday was met with tributes from numerous presidents: Frenchman Emmanuel Macron called him a “brave friend”, Cameroonian Paul Biya said he served “tirelessly”, Felix Tshisikedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo he called “a great loss for Chad and for all of Africa”, the President of Mali Bah Ndaw lamented his “brutal” death and the South African Cyril Ramaphosa called it “disturbing”.
President Déby has been a key player in the security strategy in the Sahel region and Chad is known for having one of the best trained and best equipped armies in the region.
A military council led by his son, General Mahamat Déby Itno, took power after his death. It has only partial support from the army, however it is backed by the former colonial governor France.
General Déby, 37, said the army will hold democratic elections in 18 months, but opposition leaders have condemned his takeover as a “coup” and an army general said many officers opposed the transition.
Even the rebels reject it, but have called a temporary ceasefire while the funeral takes place on Friday.