At its meeting in Banjul last month (July), the African Union decided that former Chadian president Hissene Habre should be tried in Senegal instead of in Belgium on charges of crimes against humanity. So when will the trial begin? English to Africa reporter James Butty put that question to Senegal’s foreign minister, Cheikh Tidiane Gadio.
“Actually what we need is a formal mandate sent by the African Union to the government Senegal making very clear that the African Union has agreed that it (Senegal) is competent to judge Hissene Habre. Then Senegal can use the power given to it by the African Union and the fact that we have ratified the constitutive act of the African Union; we can base on that a legal argument that allows my country and the judges of Senegal to go ahead and try Mr. Hissene Habre. And we hope that that mandate will come quickly and as clearly as possible so that we can get busy and do all the legal proceedings and give a chance to Mr. Habre also to build his defense and for all the people who filed suits against to also build their case so that we can get to business quickly.”
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