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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid