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.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora