Chad Creates Inquiry into Rebel Attack



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.
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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs