Franco-Australian conservationist abducted in Chad, government says

© Zohra Bensemra, Reuters

A Franco-Australian person has been kidnapped in eastern Chad, near the Sudanese border, "by as yet unidentified individuals", the government in N'Djamena said in a statement on Saturday.

"The government has mobilised all security and human means to catch the kidnappers," the authorities said.

"This abduction occurred yesterday, in the afternoon of October 28, 2022," a statement added, without giving details of the abduction.

"We are aware of the kidnapping of one of our citizens in Chad and are in contact with their family, and also with the authorities in Chad, in order to secure their rapid release," the French foreign ministry told AFP.

The abducted man had been working in a park run by the Sahara Conservation Fund, a wildlife NGO. The fund was set up in 2004 to help save the endangered scimitar-horned oryx.

Chad has been run by a military junta led by Mahamat Idriss Deby since his father was killed in an operation against rebels in April 2021.

A semi-desert state located in the heart of central western Africa, Chad has been chronically unstable since it gained independence from France in 1960.

The country's eastern region, close to Darfur in western Sudan, has been plagued by organised crime and trafficking of all types.

There is often deadly violence in the region, particularly between local communities, on both sides of the border.


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