Ex-Chad President Hissene Habre To Face Trial In Senegal

Channels Television  
Updated February 14, 2015

habreFormer Chadian President, Hissene Habre, will face trial in Senegal for alleged war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity.

Judges at the Extraordinary African Chamber said that there is sufficient evidence against Mr Habre, who is in custody in Senegal.

The court was set up by Senegal and the African Union to try Mr Habre after his arrest in 2013. His trial will mean the first use of universal jurisdiction in Africa.

72-year-old Habre is accused of thousands of political killings during his 1982-1990 presidency, which ended when he was deposed by the current Chadian President, Idriss Deby.

He denies the charges and has refused to recognize the legitimacy of the court.

A political prisoner during Mr Habre’s rule, Clement Abaifouta, said, “We are finally going to be able to confront our main tormentor and regain our dignity as human beings.”

The decision to try Habre was made by a panel of four judges who carried out 19 months of investigation, including in Chad, interviewing about 2,500 witnesses and victims, according to Human Rights Watch.

Habre doesn’t recognize the legitimacy of the court and refused to participate in the proceedings, Human Rights Watch said.

HRW lawyer, Reed Brody, said, “A fair and transparent trial for Hissene Habre would now demonstrate that courts in Africa can be empowered to provide justice for African victims of crimes committed in Africa.”