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Chad pardons French aid workers

By BBC| 2008

Chad has pardoned six French aid workers imprisoned last December for abducting 103 African children. The six, who work for Paris-based agency Zoe's Ark, are serving an eight-year prison sentence in France. The aid workers had said that they believed they were rescuing orphans from Sudan's troubled Darfur region to take them to foster homes in Europe. But it emerged that most of the children were from Chadian border villages and were not orphans. The six, who had been sentenced to eight years' hard labour in Chad, flew back to France in late December and have been serving their sentence there under a co-operation agreement. "The Higher Judicial Council has given a favourable opinion on the request for a pardon," Justice Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke told Reuters news agency. Though members of the organisation - set up after the 2004 Asian tsunami - insisted they had always acted in good faith, their actions were criticised by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and by members of the aid community.

Hopes fade for Tanzanian miners

About 65 miners are feared dead after rainfall triggered the collapse of mines in Tanzania, the gover'man says. Six bodies have so far been recovered in the Mererani region, about 40km (25 miles) south-east of Arusha in north-eastern Tanzania.


Zimbabwe stands 'on a precipice'

Zimbabwe is standing on a "precipice" as official results from Saturday's general election start to trickle in, the opposition has said. Leading Movement for Democratic Change official Tendai Biti says party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has won 60% of the vote, against 30% for Robert Mugabe.>>

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