Tristes nouvelles /Sad news
You will find here a dispatch from AFP in french followed by a dispatch from Reuters Vous trouverez
ici une depeche de l’AFP suivi d’une depeche de Reuters en anglais
Tchad: l’opposant Ibni serait décédé, rapporte la commission d’enquête
N’DJAMENA (AFP) le 3 septembre
— L’opposant Ibni Oumar Saleh, disparu depuis le 3 février dans le sillage de l’attaque rebelle sur
N’Djamena, a été arrêté ce jour-là à son domicile par des militaires tchadiens, et serait “désormais
décédé”, selon le rapport de la commission d’enquête rendu public mercredi 3 septembre.
“Aucune information ou élément de preuve n’ont pu être également obtenus sur le sort d’Ibni Oumar
Mahamat Saleh, le seul des opposants politiques enlevés le 3 février à ne pas avoir réapparu. Les
gens pensent qu’il serait désormais décédé”, conclut le rapport remis le 5 août au président Idriss
C’est la première fois que l’hypothèse de sa mort est évoqué officiellement alors que jusqu’à
présent, cette thèse était seulement avancée en privé par de nombreux opposants et observateurs par
respect pour la famille.
De plus, la synthèse du rapport attribue l’arrestation du porte-parole de la Coordination des partis
pour la défense de la Constitution (CPDC): il a été “arrêté à son domicile à N’Djamena (…) par des
forces de défense de sécurité portant des uniformes avec taches de camouflage”.
“Aucune information ou élément de preuve n’ont pu être obtenus sur le lieu ou les lieux de sa
détention et les conditions dans lesquelles elle s’est déroulée”, conclut le rapport.
DISPATCH OF REUTERS
Chad opposition criticises report on missing leader 03 Sep 2008 16:30:27 GMT Source: Reuters By
N’DJAMENA, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Chad’s opposition criticised as inadequate on Wednesday an
internationally-backed inquiry which said an opponent of President Idriss Deby was probably dead
after he disappeared during a rebel offensive.
Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh was one of several opposition figures who were dragged from their homes by
armed men in the hours following an attack by anti-Deby rebels on the Chadian capital N’Djamena in
the first few days of February.
Deby has said some 700 people were killed during the rebel assault, which government forces held off
with logistical and intelligence support from French aircraft and troops stationed in the landlocked
African oil producer.
Amid outcry from the opposition, who accused Deby’s soldiers of detaining the men, and following
pressure from French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Chad’s government agreed to set up a special
international commission to probe the disappearances.
Other opponents of Deby in the former French colony have since turned up alive, but Saleh, a
prominent figure of Chad’s CPDC opposition coalition, has not so far been found.
The commission set up to investigate the February events said in its report made public on Wednesday
there were reasons for thinking Saleh could be dead, either as a result of mistreatment by his
unknown captors, or assassinated.
But while it cited one witness saying Saleh had been killed on Feb. 5 because he opposed Deby, the
report reached no definitive conclusion about the missing man’s fate.
“Perfect proof of Ibni Oumar’s fate is clearly impossible to find without will being shown by the
highest authorities of the state,” the report by the commission, which had included Chadian civil
society figures and four international experts, said.
Chad’s opposition CPDC (Coordination of Political Parties for the Defence of the Constitution) said
it was unhappy with the inquiry report. It said it had not fulfilled the objectives initially
demanded by President Sarkozy.
“Our initial reaction is that we’re not satisfied with this report,” CPDC spokesman Salibou Garba
said, adding the opposition coalition would give a more detailed reaction later.
The commission report said both rebel and government forces committed serious human rights
violations during the heavy fighting around and in N’Djamena in late January and early February.
This included numerous rapes.
The report recommended the Chadian authorities continue the investigations and prosecute those found
guilty of abuses.
France’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying the international observers who had taken part
in the investigation believed it had been an impartial inquiry.
“But despite the rigorous and detailed work, the truth could not be established in certain matters,
especially in the emblematic case of the disappearance of the opposition politician Ibni Oumar
Mahamat Saleh,” the statement said.
Opponents of Deby, a former French-trained pilot who seized power in 1990 revolt, accuse him of
being corrupt and ruling like a dictator. They say he unfairly favours members of his family and
Zaghawa ethnic clan in the multi-racial country.
Last month, a Chadian court sentenced to death in absentia the main leaders of the eastern rebels
who attacked the capital in early February. Chad says the insurgents are backed by its eastern
neighbour Sudan, a charge denied by Khartoum. (For full Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say
on the top issues, visit: http://africa.reuters.com/) (Writing by Pascal Fletcher, editing by