News / Africa

Former Chadian Leader to Face Trial in Senegal

Exiled Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has lived in Senegal since 1993.  He remains under nominal house arrest, pending trial for overseeing the killings and torture of Chadians in detention during the 1980's.Exiled Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has lived in Senegal since 1993. He remains under nominal house arrest, pending trial for overseeing the killings and torture of Chadians in detention during the 1980's.
x
Exiled Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has lived in Senegal since 1993.  He remains under nominal house arrest, pending trial for overseeing the killings and torture of Chadians in detention during the 1980's.
Exiled Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has lived in Senegal since 1993. He remains under nominal house arrest, pending trial for overseeing the killings and torture of Chadians in detention during the 1980's.
James Butty
A lawyer for the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch says he has confidence in the commitment of Senegal’s new president, Macky Sall, to put former Chadian President Hissène Habré on trial in Senegal. 

This comes after it was announced late Wednesday that Senegal and the African Union have signed an agreement to set up a special tribunal to try Habré, who is accused of murdering more than 40,000 people during his eight-year rule. 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled last month that Senegal had to act quickly to put Habré on trial or extradite him to Belgium to stand trial at the ICJ.

Human rights lawyer Reed Brody who said he has been working with victims of the former Chadian leader for 13 years, said the news of a special tribunal means that Habré may soon face justice for his crimes.

“This is an important agreement. This brings us one step closer to Hissène Habré’s trial, and it is an important step to the long campaign that victims of Hissène Habré have been waging to bring him to justice,” he said.

Belgium issued an arrest warrant against Habré in 2005, after a Belgian of Chadian origin filed a complaint against him under Belgium’s “universal competence” law.

The law allows those accused of crimes under international law, which have affected Belgians, to be tried in Belgium.

Butty interview with Brody
Butty interview with Brodyi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

But after nearly 12 years, Senegal, which had said it was willing to try Habré in Senegal failed to do so.

The International Court of Justice ruled last month that Senegal had to act quickly to put Habré on trial or extradite him to Belgium to stand trial at the ICJ.

Brody said he is sure the new Senegalese government under Macky Sall would live up to its international obligation.

“The new government of Senegal under Macky Sall has been committed  to bringing Habré to justice. So this responds to that decision, but it also reflects, I believe, a new willingness on the part of the Senegalese government to live up to its international obligation and to bring Habré to justice,” Brody said.

He said the special tribunal that will try Habre would include Senegalese and other African judges.

“The agreement calls for what are known as extraordinary African chambers within the existing Senegalese court structure with sections to handle investigations, trial and appeal. And the trial court and appeal court will each consist of two Senegalese judges and the president from another African country,” he said.

An ex-prisoner of the former Chadian president told VOA in July there can be no reconciliation until Habré is finally put on trial.

Clement Abaifouta, president of the Association of Victims of the Crimes of Hissène Habré said victims of Habré have been frustrated with Senegal’s delay in putting the former Chadian leader on trial.

Brody agreed that many victims had been discouraged with Senegal, but he said unlike its predecessor,  the Macky Sall government is determined to put the former Chadian leader trial.

“As you know, Senegal had really toyed with the victims’ hope for so many years. Bishop Desmond Tutu referred to it is a political and legal soap opera to which the victims had been subject. So there’s a lot of mistrust of Senegal, and it’s going to be important for the government to move quickly and expediently to show that this time it means it,” Brody said.

Senegal’s Justice Minister Aminata Toure said after signing the agreement that “we are moving resolutely towards the holding of the trial.”

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countriesi
X
December 16, 2014 2:14 PM
Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.
Video

Video Indonesian Province to Expand Sharia Law

Indonesia has the world’s largest Muslim population and a legal system based on Dutch civil law and Indonesian government regulations. But in a 2001 compromise with separatists, Aceh province in Sumatra island’s north was allowed to implement Sharia law. Since then, religious justice has become increasingly strict. VOA correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh.
Video

Video Some Russian Businesses Thrive in Poor Economy

Capital flight, the fall in oil prices and Western sanctions are pushing Russia's staggering economy into recession. But not companies are suffering. The ruble’s drop in value has benefited exporters as well as businesses targeting increasingly frugal customers. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.

All About America

AppleAndroid