Chad rebel leader 'killed by torture'
Libreville - A Chad rebel group said on Thursday that its military commander, who was arrested last year but pardoned in January, died from health complications related to the torture he suffered in prison.
The ANCD rebel group issued a statement saying Djibrine Azene died in his home village on Tuesday.
The group, working to topple President Idriss Deby Itno, explained that Azene was arrested in August 2010 by the Sudanese army at the Sudan-Chad border, along with several other rebel fighters.
On January 10, Deby pardoned Azene and four other rebel leaders who had been sentenced to death or life imprisonment for threatening state security.
"Imprisoned in [the capital] N'Djamena, subjected to inhuman torture to the point of being very weak and sick, [...] Djibrine Azene died from the consequences of the torture he suffered," ANCD leader Mahamat Nouri said in a statement.
Nouri specified that Azene joined the ANCD rebellion in 2007 and was named to the head of its forces in May 2010.
The ANCD's Secretary General Mahdi-Ali Mahamat, said Azene, 45, was subjected to "beatings" while in detention, and that "following his interrogations, he was very sick".
Mahamat added that around 10 ANCD associates are still in state custody and urged human rights groups to visit the prisons where they are being held in order to assess their conditions.
Long-hostile relations between Chad and Sudan have recently improved, with both countries having agreed to stop supporting rebel movements in each other's country.