The French government is attempting to extricate itself from a growing fury in Africa over attempts by French citizens to adopt children from the nation of Chad. The French charity, Zoe’s Ark, was trying to fly 100 children out of the poverty of Chad to new homes in France. President Idris Deby Itno reacted with fury to the operation claiming the French were attempt to “kill them and remove their organs.” Nine French nationals including members of the charity organization, three journalists and Spanish flight crew members face charges of kidnapping. President Niclas Sarkozy telephoned the Chad leader to express his dismay over the botched operation, and said all involved would be subject to French law.Chad is an important link in UN troops fighting in Darfur and serves as transit point for supplies. Zoe’s Ark claims it was attempting to rescue children of Darfur refugees trapped in Chad from the horror of what awaits them in Darfur. France’s opposition leader, Francois Hollande, warned Sarkozy not to allow the Chad president to use this incident as a pretext to cover up his corruption and ineffectiveness by playing up an anti-French line.
This incident raises many questions pertaining to efforts by well meaning people to adopt children trapped in horrible situations. On one hand, the intent is honorable, on the other hand, it places parents in a difficult situation of giving up their children in hope a home far away will save their lives. Perhaps, another alternative is focusing on ways to improve conditions so parents can keep their children. Of course such an approach costs money.