President Nicolas Sarkozy has flown to Chad to pick up seven French and Spanish nationals released after being questioned over a child trafficking row.
Sarkozy arrived in the Chad capital N’Djamena on his presidential flight and collected three French journalists, plus four Spanish air hostesses who had been recruited to crew a charter flight to transport 103 African children to France.
Still in detention in Chad are six charity workers from the French organisation “Zoe’s Arc”, which insists it was trying to save Darfur orphans by placing them with French foster families.
They’ve now been charged with kidnap and fraud after many of the children said they were neither orphans, nor from Darfur.
When questioned the children claimed to come from border villages, and insisted they had parents back home.
Several were filmed saying they had been lured from their villages by promises of sweets.
The 103 children, the youngest just 14 months-old, are now being cared for in the town of Abéché where the aid workers were detained.
Efforts are being made to reunite them with their families.
In Paris, relatives and friends of the detained aid workers demonstrated in the streets.
The Elysee Palace is said to have been informed in advance of their plan.