Ex-Chad leader charged over war crimes

Hissene Habre, once dubbed "Africa's Pinochet", charged with crimes against humanity and torture by a Senegalese court.

    Senegal and the African Union signed an agreement in December to set up the court to try Habre for the offences [AFP]
    Senegal and the African Union signed an agreement in December to set up the court to try Habre for the offences [AFP]

    Senegalese authorities have charged former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre with war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and genocide and remanded him in custody pending trial.

    The 70-year-old was arrested on Sunday in the Senegalese capital, Dakar, where he has been living in exile for 22 years since he was overthrown in a 1990 coup.

    Human rights groups hold Habre, once dubbed "Africa's Pinochet", responsible for the torture or killing up to 40,000 people during his 1982-1990 presidency, a charge he has denied.

    Habre was ousted by incumbent President Idriss Deby Itno, who hailed his arrest as a step towards "an Africa free of all evil, an Africa stripped of all dictatorships".

    Delayed for years by Senegal where he has lived since then, Habre's trial will set a precedent as until now African leaders accused of atrocities have only been tried in international courts.

    Last year, the UN's International Court of Justice ordered Senegal to put him on trial or extradite him.

    Senegal and the African Union signed an agreement in December to set up the court to try Habre for the offences.

    Habre was also wanted for trial in Belgium on war crimes and crimes against humanity charges after three Belgian nationals of Chadian origin filed suit in 2000 for arbitrary arrest, mass murder and torture.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.