France continued the airlift of its garrison home from Chad on Thursday (23 OCTOBER). The?
France continued the airlift of its garrison home from Chad on Thursday (23 OCTOBER). The move followed the Chad Government decision to expel all French forces from the country by the end of October.
The expulsion was ordered by the Chad Government after direct French negotiation with the Toubou rebels in northern Chad for the release of 38-years-old French archaeologist, Madame Francoise Claustre. Mme. Claustre has been in rebel hands for over 18 months and recently France paid a ransom of 10 million Francs (one million pounds Sterling) worth of cash and non-military equipment following a death sentence deadline on the archaeologist. Further talks came to a halt after another rebel demand for arms.
On Thursday another 270 French troops left the Chad capital, Ndjemena, by air for France where they landed at Nice.
The Claustre Affair has severely damaged relations between France and its former African colony. The Chad Government has said that Chad is not disinterested in Mme. Claustre's fate and that moves to gain her release had been on the point of success.