Amnesty urges probe into missing Chad troops

2016-04-29 07:27
Map of Chad. (iStock)

Map of Chad. (iStock)

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Libreville - Amnesty International expressed alarm on Thursday over the disappearance of more than 20 soldiers and police officers in Chad since this month's presidential election, calling on authorities to open an independent investigation.

"According to some media, more than 40 members of the defence and security forces may have gone missing since April 9," the rights group said.

Amnesty and the Chadian League of Human Rights (LTDH) "are in the position to confirm more than 20 cases of suspected disappearances," the two groups said in a statement.

Soldiers had voted on April 9, a day before the April 10 election that saw President Idriss Deby extend his 26 years in power, despite opposition claims that the vote was marred by widespread fraud.

In at least two polling stations, military officials forced troops to publicly vote for the ruling party.

"Those who did not obey orders were either publicly beaten or locked in a cell for several hours," the statement said.

Authorities said the soldiers had been sent on a mission. On April 21, four of the missing men were shown on national television.

"But no information on their whereabouts has been communicated to their families, who have lost contact with them and do not know when they may be coming back," the rights groups said.

"Chadian authorities must shed light on this," the statement added, urging "an independent inquiry into mistreatment suffered by those who would not have voted for the ruling party".

Civilian disappearances have also been reported since Deby's re-election, including that of Mahamat Ahmat Lazina, president of the National Movement for Change in Chad (MNCT), who vanished on April 19.

Read more on:    idriss deby  |  chad  |  west africa

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