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UA 412/92 - Cameroon: fear of forcible return: four Chadian nationals in exile: Abass Kotti, Bichara Digui, Bichara Idriss Hagar, Mahamat Souleymane

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 17/019/1992

Abass Kotti, an exiled former Chadian government minister and three of his supporters, also Chadian Nationals, were reportedly arrested on 17 December 1992 in Maroua, Cameroon, following the discovery of arms close to the border with Chad. They are currently believed to be detained without charge at the gendarmerie headquarters in Maroua; AI fears that they may be forcibly returned to Chad, where they would be at risk of human rights violations.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 17/19/92
Distr: UA/SC
This is a limited action - please organize up to TEN appeals per section. Please
also bring this action to the attention of the refugee coordinator in your section.
UA 412/92 Fear of forcible return (refoulement) 22 December 1992
CAMEROON: Four Chadian nationals in exile:
Abass Kotti, former Minister of Defence
Bichara Digui
Bichara Idriss Hagar
Mahamat Souleymane
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety of Abass Kotti, an exiled former
Chadian government minister, and three of his supporters, also Chadian nationals,
named above. They were reportedly arrested on 17 December 1992 in Maroua, the capital
of Far-North Province, Cameroon, following the discovery of a cache of arms close
to the border with Chad. They are believed to be currently detained without charge
at the gendarmerie headquarters in Maroua. Amnesty International fears that the
Cameroonian authorities may forcibly return them to Chad, where they would be at
risk of "disappearance", torture or extrajudicial execution.
In June 1992 Abbas Kotti, the then Chadian Minister of Defence, left the government
following a rift between himself and President Idriss Déby. He and some 3,000 of
his supporters from the Zaghawa ethnic group were then involved in fighting with
loyalist troops in western Chad in an area near to Lake Chad and Chad's border with
Cameroon. Abbas Kotti's supporters were defeated and he subsequently fled to
Cameroon. Forty-two people arrested by the Chadian authorities following the
departure of Abbas Kotti have since "disappeared" in detention.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Chadian authorities have previously detained and tortured suspected government
opponents forcibly returned to Chad from Nigeria on three occasions since October
1991. Notably, in February 1992, more than 200 Chadian nationals were forcibly
returned from the capital of Nigeria's Borno State, Maiduguri, to N'Djamena, where
they were held in detention. Many of them were blindfolded and tortured during the
transfer and the subsequent interrogation in Chad by members of Chad's security forces.
They were kept in cramped cells and starved; at least three of them died as a result
of torture or extrajudicial execution (see UA 139/92, AFR 20/08/92, 5 May 1992).
Amnesty International is concerned that Chadian nationals who are in danger of being
forcibly returned to Chad from other neighbouring countries may also be subjected
to similar human rights violations.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters
either in French or English, or in your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that four Chadian nationals, including former Minister
of Defence, Abass Kotti, arrested on 17 December 1992 in Maroua, the capital of
Far-North Province, Cameroon, may face forcible return to Chad where they would be
at risk of "disappearance", torture or extrajudicial execution;
- expressing concern that they may suffer the same fate as that of some 300 Chadian
nationals who were repatriated from Nigeria in February 1992. They were imprisoned
in secret by the Chadian security services; many of them were tortured and some were
extrajudicially executed;
Page 2 of UA 412/92
- urging the Cameroonian authorities to ensure that no one who might be at risk
of "disappearance", torture or extrajudicial execution in Chad is forcibly returned
there;
- calling on the Cameroonian authorities to release them if they are not to be charged
with a recognizably criminal offence and brought to trial in accordance with
international standards of fair trial.
APPEALS TO
1) President:
Son Excellence Monsieur Paul Biya Salutation: Monsieur le Président
Président de la République de la République /
Palais de l'Unité Dear President
Yaoundé, Cameroon
Telegrams: President Biya, Yaounde, Cameroon
Faxes: + 237 221699
Telexes: 8207 PRESID KN (Secretariat général)
8595 PRESID B KN (Cabinet civil)
2) Minister of Foreign Affairs:
Ferdinand Léopold Oyono Salutation: Monsieur le Ministre /
Ministre de l'Administration Dear Minister
territoriale
Ministère de l'Administration territoriale
1000 Yaoundé 4, Cameroon
Telegrams: Minister de l'Administration territoriale Oyono, Yaounde, Cameroon
3) Governor of Far-North Province:
Gouverneur de la Province Salutation: Monsieur le Gouverneur /
de l'Extrême Nord Dear Govenor
Palais de Gouvernance
4300 Maroua, Cameroon
Telegrams: Monsieur le Gouverneur, Maroua, Cameroon
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
1) Minister of Interior:
Gilbert Andzé Tsoungui
Vice-Premier Ministre
et Ministre de l'Administration
territoriale
Ministère de l'Administration
territoriale
1000 Yaoundé 4, Cameroon
2) Human Rights Organization:
Dr Solomon Nfor Gwei
President
National Commission on Human Rights and
Freedoms
PO Box 287
Yaoundé, Cameroon
and the following newspapers:
Cameroon Tribune
BP 1218, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Cameroon Post
BP 1981, Yaoundé, Cameroon
Cameroon Outlook
BP 124, Limbé, Cameroon
La Gazette
BP 5485, Douala, Cameroon
Dikalo
BP 12656, Douala, Cameroon
and to diplomatic representatives of Cameroon accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your
section office, if sending appeals after 2 February 1993.

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