The African Union continues to take cognizance of the “Arche de Zoe” affair two weeks after condemning it as unjustifiable, scandalous, and an abuse of humanitarian interference. The incident refers to a case in which sixteen Europeans (including nine French citizens) who claimed to be on a mission to save war orphans from Darfur could be facing stiff sentences and hard labor after attempting to airlift 103 children out of Chad. Members of the group, which is linked to a French charity called l’Arche de ZoÃ© (Zoe’s Ark), are charged in Chad with extortion and child abduction. Amid evidence that the 103 children in question were not necessarily sick, orphaned, or even from Darfur, the failed mercy mission has grown into a diplomatic scandal that could jeopardize international plans to deploy peacekeepers in the borderlands of the troubled Sudanese region.
The full text of the press release is available here.