4 Libyans Stand Trial in Chad

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On Monday, the Chadian government announced that four Libyan hunters recently arrested on charges of poaching and for Illegally crossing the border, will be sent for trial.

In a press conference held in N’Djamena, Chadian Minister of Environment, Mohamed Ahmed Lazina announced that the Chadian Army arrested the four Libyans on charges of illegal entry into Chadian territory, while out on a wild hunting trip near the Chadian-Libyan border.

The men had lost contact with their families a week ago. The Chadian authorities announced that they had been arrested while they were in a four-wheel drive vehicle, in possession of hunting weapons and ammunition. They were also accused of poaching, which is prohibited in Chad. Libyan activists called on the authorities to resolve the issue as soon as possible.

Lazina added that his ministry has regrettably registered several illegal incursions by hunters into the Chadian territory, specifically in the north, which threatens wildlife species.

He announced that they are “committed to establishing a permanent framework for consultation with Libya, to thwart such illegal activities.” As well as deploring the fragile security situation in southern Libya in recent years.

In June, Chief of the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Mission in Libya, Federico Soda deplored the death of twenty migrants near the Chadian border.

“The death of twenty people in the Libyan desert is yet another wake-up call for the whole international community, and a reminder that we are very far from achieving the goal of ‘leaving no one behind’, the mantra of the 2030 Agenda,” Soda said in a statement.

On 28 June, the bodies of 18 people believed to be Chadian, and two Libyans, were reportedly recovered near the border area between the two countries.

According to the Libyan Ambulance and Emergency Services, it’s believed they all died of dehydration. “The loss of lives we are witnessing both in the Mediterranean sea and in the deserts of southern Libya are both unacceptable and avoidable,” said Soda.

According to the IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, more than 2,000 migrant deaths have been documented since 2014 in the Sahara alone, but experts believe the numbers are higher.

“These tragedies must be a call to action to provide minimal standards of protection to migrants, enable search and rescue operations, reinforce humanitarian border management, and provide urgently required assistance in this extremely remote area,” said Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chad Chief of Mission.

Since the intensification of gold mining in northern Chad in 2012, the Chadian-Libya border area has seen an increase in incidents related to migrants being abandoned by traffickers and smugglers, or transporters getting lost.