Runaway legionnaire 'fed up' with provocation

11/04/2009
Runaway legionnaire 'fed up' with provocation

A fugitive French Foreign Legion soldier who killed four people in Chad before being captured murdered two comrades because they were constantly provoking him, a local Chadian newspaper reported Friday.

Identified as Josafa Moura da Silva Pereira, a Frenchman of Brazilian origin, he killed two legionnaires of Guinean and Romanian origin, including his superior, then a Togolese UN soldier inside their military camp.After fleeing the scene, he then killed a Chadian farmer for his horse, taking flight across semi-desert terrain. He was recaptured at a well about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the camp at Abeche in eastern Chad.

"He said he committed his crime because he was threatened by his brothers-in-arms," the newspaper Le Progres said, without making it clear whether it had spoken to the soldier or was quoting his statement to the Chadian police.

"Da Silva Pereira 'was fed up' with the repeated provocation from the two soldiers he killed."

The 27-year-old private is attached to the European force which is handing over peacekeeping responsibilities to the UN contingent in the north-central African desert state.

He "swore he had not seen" the Togolese soldier of the MINURCAT (United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad) force who also died a the camp at Abeche, the newspaper said.

It reported that da Silva Pereira claimed he wanted to buy the horse and turban belonging to the Chadian farmer.

"After selling, the rider refused, going so far as to bar his path," Le Progres said.

"I was annoyed, so I decided to have done with him", the legionnaire said, according to the newspaper.

"Da Silva Pereira buried his Famas assault rifle somewhere and began his return to Abeche, dressed as a civilian. He was arrested when he was seeking a supply of water," Le Progres added.

The Chadian gendarmerie are due to hand da Silva Pereira over to the French authorities under the terms of the agreement governing the status of the EUFOR (European Union force) contingent.

The dead legionnaires were a sergeant aged 30, of Guinean origin, married with a child, and an umarried private of Romanian origin. Their bodies have been returned to France.

 

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