"We have affirmed our availability to observe a truce, a ceasefire ... but this morning we were bombarded again," says Mahamat Mahadi Ali, head of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad.
Rebels in Chad who launched a major incursion into the north of the country two weeks ago and have been accused by the Chadian army of killing veteran ruler Idriss Deby Itno, are "prepared to observe a ceasefire," their chief has told AFP.
"We have affirmed our availability to observe a truce, a ceasefire ... but this morning we were bombarded again," Mahamat Mahadi Ali, head of the Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT) said on Saturday when contacted by AFP from Libreville in Gabon.
But Mahadi Ali warned that the ceasefire had to be observed by both sides.
"We cannot respect the truce unilaterally. A truce must be made on both sides. We will not fold our arms and let ourselves be massacred," he said.
In response, a spokesman for the military council headed by Idriss Deby's son and successor, Mahamat Idriss Deby, said: "They are rebels, which is why we are bombing them. We are waging war, that's all."
READ MORE: Chad President Deby dies on battlefield, son to take over
Funeral for Idriss Deby
On Friday, Chad staged a state funeral for Idriss Deby Itno, a linchpin in the fight against the Sahel's militant insurgency, and France and regional allies voiced backing for Mahamat Idriss Deby.
French President Emmanuel Macron, in his tribute to the fallen president, said: "You lived as a soldier, you died as a soldier, weapons in your hands."
"France will never let anyone, either today or tomorrow, challenge Chad's stability and integrity," Macron pledged.
But Macron also called on the newly-appointed military government to foster "stability, inclusion, dialogue, democratic transition."
READ MORE: Who are the rebels that killed Chadian president Deby?