Sudan suing French charity involved in 'Darfur orphans' airlift

  • Sudan
  • 11/27/2007
  • Jaime Jansen - Jurist

The government of Sudan is planning a lawsuit against French charity Zoe’s Ark for its involvement in last month’s attempt to airlift 103 children alleged to be Darfur orphans from neighboring Chad to Europe. Sudanese Interior Minister Zubair Bashir Taha also said Monday that the government will sue a French base in Chad for allegedly allowing Zoe’s Ark to use its airport for the attempted airlift. Taha said that Zoe’s Ark violated international laws, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child [text], by allegedly trying to take children away from their villages and refugee camps.

Earlier this month, Chad released three Spanish air crew and a Belgian pilot held in Chad in connection with the attempted airlift. Chadian authorities also freed seven Europeans in early November, including three French journalists and four Spanish flight attendants, after French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew to Chad to personally intervene with the Chadian government over its handling of the case. Six Europeans still remain in Chadian custody. Four Chadian nationals also face criminal charges over their alleged involvement in the attempted airlift, including the mayor, secretary-general, deputy governor and neighborhood chief of the Chadian border town of Tine. AP has more. SUNA has local coverage.