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Chad 12 April 2006

Rebels capture radio reporter in the central city of Mongo

Reporters Without Borders voiced concern today about the fate of FM Liberté reporter Eliakim Vanambyl, who was captured by rebels of the United Front for Change (FUC) when they took the central city of Mongo yesterday. There has been no word of him since then.

“Anyone who has reliable information about what has happened to Vanambyl is urged to get in touch with his family or radio station,” the press freedom organisation said. “He is a neutral observer and not a participant in this war, and must therefore be freed at once if he is still being held by the FUC.”

Vanambyl presents the programme “Right to know” on FM Liberté, which is based in N’Djamena. He was sent to Mongo, the capital of the central Guéra region, on 6 April to cover the humanitarian problems resulting from the rebel advance.

Local sources told Reporters Without Borders that Vanambyl met the first FUC units to reach Mongo at around noon yesterday. After ordering him to identify himself, they took him with them, the sources said. He later managed to call FM Liberté director Gata Nder with his mobile phone. As they spoke, a rebel took the phone from him and insulted Nder before hanging up.

Since then, neither his family nor his colleagues have been able to reach him. Reporters Without Borders has confirmed that his mobile phone is turned off. Local sources today told Reporters Without Borders that the FUC rebels left Mongo, taking Vanambyl with them.

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