Six members of the Zoe’s Arch charity imprisoned on child abduction charges could soon be free after Chad’s president, who is seeking European support against rebels, offered to consider pardoning them.
The group are serving their sentences in France after being convicted in Chad. Paris says as soon as they ask for to be pardoned it will pass on the request.
President Idress Deby made the offer after an attempted takeover of the capital N’Djamena by rebels at the weekend. The rebels have now pulled back from the city but the fighting took a heavy toll with at least 100 civilians dead.
The deployment of France-led European peacekeeping force was delayed by the combat.
But it is reported that will now go ahead next week after an appeal from Deby.
The President has also been boosted by a visit from France’s Defence Minister. Hervé Morin went to Chad in a show of support for his country’s former colony.
Neither of the two the countries have said the possible pardon for the Zoe’s Arch prisoners is linked to the situation in Chad.