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Sixteen Europeans charged over Chad children row

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Sixteen Europeans charged over Chad children row


Nine French nationals have been charged with child abduction and fraud by Chadian authorities after they tried to fly 103 African children out of the country. Seven crew members from the Spanish airline Girjet have been charged with being accessories to the alleged crime. The group has been detained in the eastern city of Abeche since Thursday.

Back home in Spain, reactions were mixed regarding the case: “We have been told we should put our trust in the Chadian government,” said one Girjet employee.

“Little by little the situation should clear up, we hope that soon our colleagues will be home with their families in Spain.”

Others were less optimistic. Eduardo Munoz is the father of the co-pilot onboard the Girjet plane who is among those charged. “We do not understand what is happening,” he said. “We try to, but when we see our son on TV in those conditions, it’s horrible.”

It is believed the children come from the Chad-Sudan border area where hundreds of thousands of people have taken refugee from fighting in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region. He accused include members of the French charity Zoe’s Ark who claim their aim was to give orphans from the war-torn region a better life by sending them to host families in France.

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