Chad opposition leader alive

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Chadian opposition leader Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, who has been missing since 3 February 2008 in N’Djamena, Chad, is still alive, his son, Hicham Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh told panapress Tuesday.

“We are certain he is alive,” the Chadian leader’s son said, giving specific indications on his place of detention.

“In the Chadian context, nothing can remain secret for ever. My father is held in the prisons of the Chadian presidency in N’Djamena,” claimed Hicham Saleh, who is studying law in Orléans, near Paris, France.

After his arrest by alleged members of the presidential guard on 3 February, Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh has not been heard of, thereby raising questions from Chadian politicians and the international community about his fate.

Following international pressures, Chadian President Idriss Déby Itno agreed to set up a commission of inquiry to shed light on the “attack by rebels from Sudan” and on the fate of missing people among whom was Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh.

“We are refusing this commission of inquiry that is aimed only at allowing Déby to buy time.

“We believe the international community, particularly France, must exert strong pressures on Déby, for him to release my father,” Hicham Ibni Saleh said.

“No sincere political dialogue can be possible without the release of my father, who is a figure known and respected among the Chadian democratic opposition,” he contended.

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