Soldiers in eastern Chad have captured a member of the Foreign Legion who was on the run, accused of having killed three fellow peacekeepers earlier this week, United Nations and Chadian officials say.
The soldier was captured yesterday morning near the eastern town of Abeche and is being held by the local gendarmerie but it was not immediately clear if he was first seized by Chadian or European soldiers.
European and Chadian soldiers had been scouring Chad’s remote and hostile east since Tuesday when the French military said the soldier went “a bit mad”, killed two French and one Togolese colleague and disappeared into the bush.
“He was captured four kilometres (2.5 miles) from Etoile camp (in Abeche) by the European military police. He was taken to the gendarmerie,” said Michel Bonnardeaux, a spokesman for the UN mission in Chad, known as MINURCAT.
Col Hamid Wardougou, commander of the gendarmerie in Abeche, confirmed the soldier was in his custody but said his men had seized the unarmed soldier as he was walking through the outskirts of the town at about 0930 GMT.
“We arrested him. He is with us. He is not hurt,” he added.
The European Union has had thousands of soldiers in Chad’s east, where they have been tasked with protecting aid workers and hundreds of thousands of refugees caught up in fighting in Chad and neighbouring Sudan’s Darfur region.
The EU formally handed command of the protection force to the UN mission last month.