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Resolution adopted unanimously by the IPU Governing Council at its 191st session
(Québec, 24 October 2012)

The Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

Having before it the case of Mr. Ngarleji Yorongar, a member of the National Assembly of Chad, which has been examined by the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians since its 121st session (April 2008), pursuant to its Procedure for the treatment by the Inter-Parliamentary Union of communications concerning violations of the human rights of members of parliament,

Referring to the information provided by the Speaker of the National Assembly during a hearing with the Committee at its 137th session (March-April 2012), and to the communication of 9 October 2012 from the Minister of Justice forwarded by the Speaker of the National Assembly,

Recalling the following elements on file:

  • Mr. Yorongar and Mr. Lol Mahamat Choua, both members of parliament and leaders of opposition political parties, as well as a former member of parliament, Mr. Ibni Oumar Mahamat Saleh, were abducted during an attack on the capital city of Chad by rebels between 28 January and 8 February 2008;

  • The national Commission of Inquiry established by the authorities to investigate these events established in its report, published in early September 2008, that Mr. Yorongar “was arrested at his home on Sunday, 3 February 2008, at about 5.45 p.m. by eight to 10 elements of the defence and security forces carrying weapons some of which were reminiscent of those of the presidential guard, led by a tall (1m 80) robust man travelling in a khaki Toyota pick-up, new and with no number plate” and that “the Chadian Army was responsible [...] for using disproportionate and indiscriminate force […] in breach of international humanitarian law, at non-military sites and among civilian populations”;

  • The Commission concluded that “abductions and arrests, together with acts of intimidation against opposition politicians, had occurred after the rebel withdrawal from N’Djamena; [which] clearly involves the responsibility of the defence and security forces”, and specified in its final report that, insofar as “from 3 February 2008 onwards, public security was mainly provided by elements of the presidential guard, it can also be inferred that the Chadian State was responsible”;

  • The Commission recommended that the Government “pursue the police and judicial investigations with a view to determining the place of detention and the re-appearance of Mr. Yorongar in Cameroon […], that it compensate the victims or their families in an equitable and not merely symbolic manner […]” and that it set up a specialized committee entrusted with following up the effective implementation of its recommendations;

  • A committee entrusted with “following up the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the events that occurred in Chad from 28 January to 8 February 2008 and their consequences” was established in late September 2008 to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry; in January 2011, the Chadian authorities associated two international experts, from the European Union and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, in the work of the follow-up committee, which, until then, had been composed exclusively of the different competent ministers; the committee was to deliver its report in June 2011;

  • The conclusions of the Commission of Inquiry were laid before the Prosecutor General, who opened cases; owing to the 12-month deadline for the preliminary enquiry, the first trials were to start in 2010; to date, however, none of the judicial proceedings relating to the hundreds of cases of enforced disappearance that occurred during the attacks of February 2008, in particular that of Mr. Yorongar, has resulted in an indictment;

  • On 7 May 2011, an assassination attempt was made on Mr. Yorongar during a meeting called to support his party’s candidates for the partial parliamentary elections in Kelo, south of N’Djamena,

Considering the following: the ill-treatment inflicted on Mr. Yorongar during his arrest in February 2008 has reportedly affected his health, which has deteriorated since that time; Mr. Yorongar apparently does not have sufficient financial means to cover the medical treatment he requires; given his medical and financial situation, Mr. Yorongar is finding it difficult fully to discharge his parliamentary duties; he alleges that the National Assembly and the State of Chad owe him various amounts of money, repayment of which would enable him to meet his medical expenses; noting that Mr. Yorongar claims that he has so far been unable to obtain all the amounts or clarification on this point from the National Assembly, even though he has provided the Assembly with proof of his claims on several occasions,

Taking into account that, during his hearing with the Committee at its 137th session (March-April 2012), the Speaker of the National Assembly said that the Assembly, for its part, had settled all of Mr. Yorongar’s financial claims and that he intended to meet with Mr. Yorongar shortly to clarify the situation with him, and that, on 18 October 2012, the National Assembly said that it planned to send Mr. Yorongar an official letter in order to arrange a meeting and enable Mr. Yorongar to produce the evidence of his claims, thereby allowing the National Assembly to help him obtain satisfaction,

Also taking into account the following: in his communication of 9 October 2012, the Minister of Justice stated that the Government had established a judicial “pool” to shed light on all the crimes and offences committed during the events under consideration; the “pool” had received over 1,500 cases, which it was examining and which included that of Mr. Yorongar; Mr. Yorongar has been heard in this context; only about 30 women rape victims have received humanitarian compensation from the Government to date, pending the judicial conclusions concerning the perpetrators; it would therefore be premature to come to a conclusion as to accountability at this point; over four years after the events, only the complexity of the investigation, resulting from the context in which the offences were committed, can explain the slow pace at which the thousands of cases are being examined; Chad remains firmly committed to allowing the justice system to investigate in total transparency and independence and to make available to it all the means it requires to establish the truth on the crimes and offences committed during the events of 2008,

  1. Thanks the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Minister of Justice for the information provided;

  2. Notes with renewed concern that, even though four years have elapsed, no progress seems to have been made towards identifying the perpetrators of the crimes committed against Mr. Yorongar or towards the start of judicial proceedings against them, despite the avenues of investigation indicated in the report of the Commission of Inquiry, in particular with regard to the implication of loyalist security forces in the commission of crimes and hence the responsibility of the Chadian State in this respect;

  3. Urges, therefore, the competent authorities to do all in their power to ensure that the investigations are pursued and have tangible results, particularly in the case of Mr. Yorongar; sincerely hopes to continue receiving regular information on the conduct and outcome of those investigations and wishes to receive a copy of the latest report of the follow-up committee;

  4. Requests the competent authorities to take all necessary action to honour Mr. Yorongar’s financial claims, particularly since these are legally justified; hopes that the planned meeting between the Speaker of the National Assembly and Mr. Yorongar will take place as soon as possible, and wishes to be apprised of the outcome;

  5. Requests the Secretary General to convey the present resolution to the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Minister of Justice and the sources, and to the regional and international organizations and national parliaments involved in following up the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into the events of February 2008;

  6. Requests the Committee to continue examining this case and to report back to it in due course.
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