Zoe’s Ark: French will stay in Chad’s prison

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This Wednesday, the judge has refused to release the nine person accused in the Zoe’s Ark affair. His decision followed the huge anti-French march which occurred the same day in the city centre of Chad: N’Djamena. This march just occurred after the French Secretary for foreign affairs and Human rights’ allocution, Rama Yade, who has deplored France’s “implication” after humanitarian workers have been arrested.

The judge in charge of the Zoe’s Ark affair investigations has refused, this Wednesday, to free the six French and four Chadians in jail in N’Djamena for kids kidnapping and swindling. According to a judiciary source, the judge thought that “regarding the gravity of those facts, releasing them temporarily would harm truth and order”. He has added that “ civil part dispositions were not received to let him make a decision”.

Refusing to set the French free is just an answer to the civil march which occurred the same day in the very middle of Chad’s capital. “Stop Mr Sarkozy! ”, « Slave trade is over ! », “Chad is independent since 1960 !” is what you could hear in N’Djamena’s street where thousands of person were crowd on the Place de l’Indépendance near the French Embassy and the Law Courts.

Some contesters, most young, where biking and took the opportunity to throw rocks on cars where there were Occidental people, has noticed a journalist from AFP. This anti-French attitude just follows the Zoe’s Ark aborted operation. This French Fundation had six of its members arrested in October 25th and accused of kids kidnapping and swindling after trying to bring 103 kids from Chad to France.

Anti-French contestation march also occurred last week while the accused people in this affair were auditioned. This one was only about a dozen of persons and was not as violent as this Wednesday’s march. Few business women fundations and the Human Rights Fundation network in Chad are calling for a “pacific march” against “Zoe’s Ark acts”.

France, the first « victim » in this affair

This anti-French crowd just appeared the day after the French Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights’ statement. Interviewed this Tuesday by RFI, Rama YADE has deplored the fact that France was “the first victim” in the Zoe’s Ark Affair and that France was “included” just after Chad has arrested few French Humanitarian Workers.

The French Secretary has by the way, insisted on the effects of those acts on Humanitarian Policy and she also reminded everyone that when a Non-Governmental Organisation works abroad, its members “also engaged (…) its country’s image”. To avoid other fundations doing the same as the Zoe’s Ark, Rama Yade has invited few Non-Governmental Organisations to do a brainstorming about the way of controlling their action and “how far” are their members responsible for what they do.

Concerning the French which are imprisoned in Chad, she did not want to give a returning date. She aims to “bring the French back to their country before or after their trial in Chad”. She then added at RFI that French magistrates should arrive this week to decide the future of the accused.

Refusing to free the French is the proof that Chadians who wanted to see the Zoe’s Ark members judged and sent to jail in Chad, had the justice done.

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