EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 17/19/92
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 Idriss Hagar
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.
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