French Aid Workers Sentenced In Chad
The six aid workers from France were arrested back in October. They had worked for the French based charity known as Zoe’s Ark. The six of them had explained at the time they were evacuating refugee children who became orphans due to the Darfur conflict so they could be cared in Europe by foster families.
But it was discovered that most of the children were from Chad and not Sudan. The country of Chad borders Sudan. In an added twist, the parents of those children are still alive.
This incident has sparked outrage throughout Chad which is a former French colony and one of the oil-producing countries in the world. Protesters demanded the six aid workers face justice. They would claim they might be treated with leniency due to being Europeans.
Right now, France plans to ask Chad to return the aid workers back. Zoe’s Ark had explained that it was shocked by the guilty verdict. Along with the six French aid workers, both a Chadian and Sudanese national were put on trial and sentenced to four years in prison.
Two other Chadians were acquitted in the trial. The French aid workers were guilty of attempted kidnapping and breaching of their civil rights. They were also found guilty of absconding without paying bills.
Eric Breteau, who heads up Zoe’s Ark was found guilty on the use of forged documents.
12 others: French journalists and a Spanish flight crew had charges dropped against them. They were allowed to leave Chad.
UNICEF, the children’s charity of the United Nations said that the mission by Zoe’s Ark in Chad to fly children out of the country as illegal under international law. The French government also agreed by saying it was both illegal and irresponsible.
Zoe’s Ark say they believed they were rescuing children and blame local contacts for lying to them.
Tags: Chad , France , UNICEF , Zoe's Ark
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