News / Africa

Senegal Suspends Extradition of Former Chadian Leader

Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, left, in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005 (file photo)
Former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, left, in Dakar, Senegal, in 2005 (file photo)

Senegal has suspended its decision to extradite former Chadian leader Hissene Habre after the United Nations said he could be tortured if sent home to Chad.

Senegalese Foreign Minister Madicke Niang says President Abdoulaye Wade's government has suspended its expulsion order against Hissene Habre and will now open “urgent” talks with the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union to find a solution.

Senegal's announcement Friday that Habre would be extradited on a charter flight Monday was meant to end years of legal arguments about what to do with the former Chadian leader who has been living in Dakar since he was overthrown more than 20 years ago.

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights Sunday urged the Senegalese government to review its decision. In a written statement, Navi Pillay said that Senegal, as a party to the Convention Against Torture, may not extradite anyone to a state “where there are substantial grounds for believing he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”

Pillay said Senegal, at the very least, must obtain fair trial guarantees from the Chadian government. She says sending him home without those guarantees, “may amount to a violation of international law.”

A 1992 Truth Commission in Chad found Habre responsible for widespread torture and the deaths of at least 40,000 people.  Senegal put him under house arrest in 2005, when he was charged by the Belgian government for crimes against humanity based on cases brought by Chadians living in Belgium.

In 2008, Chad tried him in absentia and sentenced him to death for planning to overthrown the government.

About 100 Habre supporters gathered outside his home to celebrate Senegal's decision to suspend the extradition. Kebla Makaida is a Chadian politician living in Senegal.

Makaida says it is a celebration not only for Hissene Habre but for the victory of all democratic people who peacefully oppose unilateral and arbitrary decisions relating to kidnapping in Africa.

Habre's lawyer said the extradition amounted to a kidnapping and warned that his client would be shot on arrival in N'Djamena.

Amnesty International says Senegal has avoided putting Habre on trial for years, despite its international obligations to do so. The group says sending him back to Chad, where he faces the death penalty and an unfair trial, would bring no real justice to the thousands who suffered human rights violations during his eight-year rule.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
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.

All About America

AppleAndroid