Expatica news

Envoy to help Belgian pilot

6 November 2007

BRUSSELS – The Belgian Foreign Affairs Ministry is sending an envoy to the Chadian capital N’Djamena in order to monitor the fate of the Belgian pilot Jacques Wilmart, who has been detained as a result of the affair of the 103 children who were to be taken out of the country for adoption.

Mr Wilmart helped to collect the children from locations across the country.  The French adoption agency Arche de Zoé claimed the children were orphans from Darfur in Sudan, but this is contested by the Chadian authorities.

Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht told the VRT that he had hoped that the Belgian would be released together with French journalists who have been freed.

Because this has not happened, a high ranking Belgian diplomat, the director African Affairs, has been sent to the country to get a clearer picture of what is going on.

The director also intends to visit Mr Wilmart, who has already received the assistance of Belgian diplomats in the field.

Three lawyers representing the Belgian are also travelling to Chad. The lawyers say that there are concerns about the health of the 75 year old.

He is being interviewed by the judicial authorities again on Tuesday, when his fate should become clear.

Meanwhile the French president Nicolas Sarkozy helped to fly three French journalists and four Spanish air crew out of the country.

Six French nationals, 3 Spaniards and 4 Chadian nationals are still being held.

[Copyright Flanders news 2007]

Subject: Belgian news