Accessibility links

Sarkozy Vows to Bring Home Europeans Still Held in Chad


French President Nicholas Sarkozy has vowed to return to Chad to bring home the remaining Europeans held in connection with a French charity's attempt to fly African children to France.

Sarkozy flew to Chad on Sunday and obtained the release of three French journalists and four Spanish flight attendants who were arrested after the charity Zoe's Ark tried to transport 103 children out of eastern Chad last month.

Tuesday, the French president said he will go to Chad again and, in his words, bring back those who stayed behind, regardless of what they have done.

His comments appear to be odds with those of Chad's interior minister, who told a French newspaper Le Parisien that the 10 Europeans who remain in Chadian custody must be tried and sentenced in Chad.

Ahmat Mahamat Bachir said that holding the trial in France would be an insult to the Chadian people.

Six French nationals face charges of child abduction in the case, while three Spaniards and a Belgian pilot have been charged as accomplices.

A Chadian judge questioned several of the detainees about their role in the case on Monday.

In Paris, one of three French journalists arrested while covering the Zoe's Ark mission said the charity displayed amateurism and lied about its plans to take the children to France.

Marc Garmirian said that, at one point, members of the charity were putting bandages on children and dousing them with iodine to make them seem injured.

The charity workers have said the 103 children they attempted to fly to France were orphans who faced possible death in Sudan's Darfur region. However, a report by three international aid agencies says most of the children have families.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

XS
SM
MD
LG