Chadian dissident Tom Erdimi has been released from prison in Egypt

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The dissident Tom Erdimi has been released from prison in Egypt, according to the Chadian presidency and his family. First chief of staff of Idriss Déby Itno, before going to the opposition where he was considered the noble grise of the rebellion led by his twin brother Timan Erdimi, Tom has been missing since 2020. He used to stay in Egypt. Since then, all attempts by his family to free him have been in vain, until recently when his brother participated in the pre-dialogue in Doha before returning to Ndjamena for the inclusive and sovereign national dialogue.

Tom Erdimi was released from prison, he is now free », told us at the beginning of the afternoon, this Wednesday, the deputy secretary general of the Chadian presidency, Ousmane Abdramane Djougourou, on a mission to Cairo to conclude this event.

A release confirmed to us in the process by a relative of the Chadian opponent, very happy to have found him.

Members of his family have been in Cairo for days awaiting his release, which comes after a presidential pardon was granted to him by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi two days ago.

The PCMT, Chad’s transitional president, is interceding for him “, specified its deputy general secretary. A mediation that intervened, according to our sources, within the framework of an agreement with his twin, the rebel leader Timan Erdimi that made it one of the conditions for in his participation in the inclusive and sovereign national dialogue that took place in N’Djamena.

Timan and Tom Erdimi, both close relatives of the late President Idriss Déby Itno, where they were the right-hand man in the 1990s, then took up arms against him. Timan Erdimi was even closer to taking the capital in 2008, Mr. Déby only because of his safety in an intervention of the French army.

Since then, the two lived in exile, Timan in Qatar while his twin brother spent two years in an Egyptian prison. ” Tom Erdimi’s ordeal has ended today “, commented a relative. He should win Chad” non-stop “, announce the Chadian presidency and his family.

The culmination of a long struggle

Tom Erdimi lived for several months in Egypt, with refugee status, when he disappeared from the radar at the end of December 2020. His family would take several months before realizing it. Then, the latter chooses, at first, for discretion, even if he moves heaven and earth to try to find him – in vain.

His relatives will eventually learn that he was arrested by the Egyptian secret services at the request of the Chadian authorities, but it is radio silence that reigns in the two capitals. Also, for the Erdimi family, it is clear: discretion does not pay. So he decided to step up from July 2021.

Media coverage of the case, “sit-in” in front of the Egyptian embassy in Chad, complaint to the United Nations human rights committee for “enforced disappearance”… A radical change of course, and information began to return to the surface . .

Egyptian security sources contacted by RFI at the time did not want to confirm or deny the arrest of Tom Erdimi. But they describe it as ” a dangerous terrorist wreaking havoc in Libya for Qatar », the sworn enemy of this country. The family of the Chadian opponent also ended up learning in which prison he was suffering, but it was impossible to get close to him.

Then came the shock on April 20 last year: President Idriss Déby Itno was killed during clashes with FACT rebels. His son Mahamat, who became the transitional president, began negotiations with the armed groups in Doha.

The rebel leader Timan Erdimi is one of those who agree to return to Chad to participate in the national dialogue that is currently underway in N’Djamena, against the promise especially of the release of his brother Tom, which has now been done.

►Read again: Chad: proof of the life of Tom Erdimi, a new step towards the pre-dialogue in Doha

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