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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid