Chad opposition leader arrives in France
Chadian opposition leader Ngarlejy Yorongar arrived Thursday in France where he has been promised political asylum.
PARIS, March 6, 2008 - Chadian opposition leader Ngarlejy Yorongar,
who fled his troubled African state after a government crackdown, arrived
Thursday in France where he has been promised political asylum.
Yorongar, who surfaced Monday in Cameroon after going missing a month ago
following a failed rebel attack on the Chadian capital Ndjamena, flew into
Paris Charles de Gaulle airport via Brussels, an AFP correspondent said.
"I am very unwell," he told reporters at the airport. "I am worried that I
may have been poisoned. My main concern now is to get medical care, before
deciding what to do."
His family were waiting for him at the airport, including his son
Rokoulmian who said his father had not so far applied for asylum in France.
Yorongar says he was arrested in Ndjamena on February 3 by President Idriss
Deby Itno's presidential guard and held in a "secret prison," before managing
to flee to neighbouring Cameroon.
Chad's European partners and rights groups have voiced concern for another
opposition leader, Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, whose family are still without
news of him.
Both men were reportedly taken at the same time, shortly after three rebel
groups crossed the country from bases in Sudan's Darfur region and launched a
two-day attack on Ndjamena.
The attack was beaten back by government troops with French military help
that did not extend to direct intervention.
The disappearance of the opposition leaders coincided with an
internationally-condemned crackdown by Deby loyalists in the wake of the coup
Chad remains under a state of emergency until March 15, allowing for house
searches by security forces and a media crackdown.