Spanish Ambassador in Cameroon to visit Detained Spaniards in Chad
María Jesús Alonso, the Spanish Ambassador for Cameroon has travelled to Chad to assist the Spanish air crew who have been arrested as a consequence of their association with a French charity that was taking 103 children to France. The Chad authorities accuse the charity of moving the children illegally without permission. The Spanish crew, chartered by the French charity to bring the children to Europe, apparantly were not aware of the operation and the ambassador has travelled to Chad to negotiate their release. Spain has no diplomatic headquarters in Chad.
Vicente Mas, Spanish consul in Cameroon, arrived in Abeche, Chad this morning on a special flight organised by the Chad authorities in order to try and gain access to the 7 arrested Spaniards all of whom are members of the air crew on the plane that the children were going to be travelling.
According to the Spanish Foreign Office the priority at the moment is to help those who are under arrest firstly via the French Ambassador because Spain doesn’t have an embassy in Chad and also through the efforts of Mas and Alonso’.
In addition, The Spanish government has been trying to assure that the Spaniards are being treated correctly through diplomatic efforts at the highest levels although details of contacts that have already been established have not been released.
Relatives of the Spaniards detained in Chad have appeared on radio and television expressing their distress having seen television reports in which the Chad president seemed address the Spanish flight crew in an accusatory tone.