Murdered French aid worker flown home from Chad

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The aid worker was attacked when he was in a three-car convoy with another humanitarian agency.

5 May 2008

PARIS - The body of a French aid worker shot dead by highwaymen in war-stricken eastern Chad was flown home Sunday to Paris, where his family and colleagues held a closed-door memorial service in his honour.

International aid groups suspended humanitarian operations in Chad for two days to protest against the murder on Thursday of 49-year-old Pascal Marlinge, who worked for the British-based charity Save the Children.

France's junior minister for human rights Rama Yade, who took part in the ceremony at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, said she came to "pay a last tribute to Pascal Marlinge, whose commitment to serve others was a guiding principle of his life."

Marlinge's body was later to be returned to the central French village of Seilhac, where he lived with his wife and two daughters.

Save the Children said it believed Marlinge was in a three-car convoy with another humanitarian agency, driving from Farchana to Hajir Hadid, close to the Sudanese border, at the time of the attack Thursday morning.

Chad's interior minister said an armed escort had originally been planned for the convoy, but that Save The Children had declined the offer.

The charity has suspended all work in Chad until further notice and has sent a team to assist in the investigation.

[AFP / Expatica]

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