New York, February 18, 2022 — Chadian authorities should thoroughly and transparently investigate the killing of journalist Evariste Djailoramdji and hold those responsible to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday.
On February 9, unidentified people in the southern village of Sandana shot and killed Djailoramdji, a reporter working for the local broadcaster Lotiko Radio, while he covered a conflict in the area, according to local media reports and Arnaud Djimounoum, a manager at Lotiko Radio, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app. Violence broke out that day in Sandana due to a dispute between herders and farmers, according to media reports. Djimounoum told CPJ that Djailoramdji was among at least 11 people killed that day.
In the afternoon of February 9, Djailoramdji transmitted a report to his colleagues that “people draw arms everywhere in the village and the population flees to take refuge in the bush,” Djimounoum said. He told CPJ that the station lost contact with Djailoramdji about half an hour later. Local media and the Union of Chadian Journalists (UJT), a local trade group, reported that the journalist had been shot and killed.
“Authorities in Chad should swiftly investigate the violence in Sandana during which journalist Evariste Djailoramdji was killed, and make public their findings,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “The tragedy of a journalist’s death is deepened when those closest to them and the broader public do not know exactly what happened.”
A portion of Djailoramdji’s radio report was posted on Facebook by the local outlet Le Visionnaire, which noted he had covered similar violence in the village in 2019.
A statement by the UJT alleged that members of an armed group had deliberately targeted Djailoramdji and shot him in the head as he relayed information to Lotiko Radio. However, a manager at the station, whose name was not released, was quoted by local news website Tchad Infos as saying they did not know whether Djailoramdji had been specifically targeted.
Residents of Sandana and the Chadian Convention for the Defense of Human Rights (CTDDH), a local rights group, have called for those responsible for the violence last week to be held accountable, according to media reports.
Djailoramdji also worked as a teacher at a local school and had seven children, according to biographical information shared with CPJ by Djimounoum.
When CPJ called Chadian public prosecutor Moussa Wade Djibrine for comment, the connection was too poor to communicate; CPJ sent questions to Djibrine via messaging app, but did not receive any response.
Lamane Nguessangar, the attorney general at the Court of Appeal in Sarh, the capital of the region that includes Sandana, told CPJ that an investigation had been opened into the violence.
[Editors’ note: This alert has been changed to include CPJ’s requests for comment to Djibrine and Nguessangar, which were erroneously dropped from a previous version of the article.]