News

Chad Creates Inquiry into Rebel Attack

Multimedia

Audio

Chad's government has created an official inquiry to look into the events surrounding a rebel attack on Chad's capital, N'Djamena, a month ago. But human rights activists say the inquiry will not be independent. For VOA, Naomi Schwarz has more from Dakar.

More than 250 civilians are reported to have died and at least three prominent members of Chad's opposition disappeared during the rebel attack on the capital.

Now Chad's authorities have created a commission to investigate what really happened during the attack that nearly toppled the government.

But Reed Brody, of New York-based Human Rights Watch says to be effective, an inquiry would have to look critically at the government's role in the events.

"It is going to be led by the President of the Chadian National Assembly a former prime minister who is a close ally of President Idriss Deby," said Brody. "So it does not look like it is going to be an independent commission."

According to Chadian national radio, the commission will also include representatives from France, the European Union, and the African Union. The Red Cross refused to participate, saying it would compromise their neutrality.

Brody says he would welcome a commission run by an outside body, such as the United Nations, but that this commission is unlikely to clear up questions surrounding the disappearances of opposition leaders.

"[What] the government needs to do is to explain where it is holding Ibni [Oumar Saleh Mohamet] and why it arrested Yorongar and then apparently set him loose on the 21st of February," said Brody.

Ibni Oumar Saleh Mohamet and Ngorlejy Yorongar, along with former president Lol Mahamet Choua, are prominent members of the political opposition. They disappeared during the rebel attacks, and many accused Chad's government of profiting from the chaos to stifle its opponents.

There is still no sign of Saleh Mohamet.

The government initially denied involvement in the disappearances, but later acknowledged that Choua had been detained as a prisoner of war, and put under house arrest. He was later freed.

Yorongar eventually surfaced in Cameroon, where he said he said he had fled after being detained by government forces for more than two weeks.

Brody says Human Rights Watch investigations have concluded the government also detained Saleh Mohamet. And he says, based on testimony by fellow prisoner, Yorongar, some fear Saleh Mohamet died in custody.

"Yorongar has said that he was held for over two weeks in very difficult conditions, that he saw the others, that he is afraid at a certain point, he stopped seeing Ibni Oumar [Saleh Mohamet] and he is worried that perhaps he died in prison," said Brody. "And we are very worried that Ibni Oumar Mohamet Saleh may have died and that is why the government has not produced him."

The European Union is sending a peacekeeping force of nearly 4,000 soldiers to eastern Chad to protect refugees and displaced people. But some say the international community should intervene more directly to restore peace in Chad.

 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs