bni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, leader of an opposition political party and spokesperson for a political coalition,was arrested at his home in the Chadian capital, N’Djaména, by members of the Chadian security forces on 3 February 2008. He was arrested a few hours after a major armed offensive by rebel groups had been defeated by the Chadian army. No one has seen him since. What happened to Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh is very similar to the fate of more than 20 Chadian high-ranking officers and civilians arrested in April 2006 and November 2007. Since their arrests, none of these people have been seen or heard from by their families. They do not even know if the men are alive or dead. On 13 April 2006, armed opposition movements attacked N’Djaména. In the aftermath of this attack more than 14 army officers and civilians were arrested by Chadian security forces because they were suspected of being involved. They included Army Chief of Staff Abdouramane Youssouf Seid. On 30 November 2007, seven men including Brahim Idriss Ibrahim, governor of Dar Tama province, were arrested in the eastern town of Guéréda. Some were members of the former armed opposition movement FUC (United Front for Democratic Change). They were arrested during or soon after a meeting with President Idriss Déby to discuss disarming former FUC combatants. To date, only one of the missing men has reappeared: Haroun Mahamat Abdoulaye, Sultan of Dar Tama, was released from a security facility in N’Djaména in May 2008. The Chadian authorities have persistently refused to disclose information on the whereabouts of these men and the state of their health, or to confirm whether they are alive or dead. Amnesty International delegates visited Chad in May 2008 and discussed the issue of enforced disappearances by the Chadian military with officials including the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice.
SOURCE: THE WIRE AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AUGUST 2008 VOL 38 NO.7