Chadian Ex-President, Hissene Habre, Facing Trial In Senegal

Chad’s former President Hissene Habre is due to go on trial in Senegal for crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes marking the first time ever that a former African president will be prosecuted in another African country.

According to a BBC report, Mr Habre is accused of being responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of people during his rule from 1982 to 1990, which he denies.

The trial follows a 25-year campaign to bring him to justice.

The former Chadian leader has turned up at the court despite some speculation that he would boycott the trial because he did not recognise the court’s jurisdiction.

Many of his alleged victims have been calling for the trial since his overthrow and exile in Senegal in 1990.

A Chadian truth commission found in 1992 that the Habre regime was responsible for 40,000 deaths and disappearances, leading many to dub him Africa’s Pinochet, after the Chilean military ruler Augusto Pinochet.

In 2005 a court in Belgium issued a warrant for his arrest, claiming universal jurisdiction but, after Senegal referred the issue to the African Union in 2006, the AU asked Senegal to try Mr Habre “on behalf of Africa”.