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Chad’s former president Habre dies in Senegal

The former president of the Republic of Chad died on Tuesday August 24, 2021 in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.Hissene Habre…

The former president of the Republic of Chad died on Tuesday August 24, 2021 in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.Hissene Habre had been rushed to the main hospital in Dakar for several days, due to complications related to diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension.) A few hours ago, his wife Fatima Raymonde Habre confirmed her husband’s infection with the coronavirus.

Mr. Habre, 79, ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990 following the coup d’Etat against Goukouni Oueddei who had ruled Chad between 1979 and 1982. Deposed in turn by his former lieutenant and late Chadian President Idriss Deby Itno in 1990, Habre was granted political asylum in Senegal through Cameroonian President Paul Biya, who asked former Senegalese president Abdou Diouf to take him in, after other neighboring heads of state, had shied away from a similar request.

For more than two decades, Habre led a quiet and peaceful life in Ouakam, a residential area west of the Senegalese capital. But the international community and the victims will put intense pressure on him to be tried.

Life imprisonment

The former dictator is charged with several counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, torture and executions during his rule. A commission of enquiry, after his fall, spoke of some 40,000 deaths. The former warlord was initially sentenced to death in absentia in Chad by a court in Ndjamena.

Finally, his famous trial opened in Dakar on 20 July 2015 and ended on 11 February 2016. After 25 years of a judicial struggle, Habre was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment in the first instance on May 30, 2016 by the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC), created under an agreement between the African Union (AU) and Senegal. This is an unprecedented event in Africa, as it is the first time that the courts of one state have tried a former leader of another state for alleged human rights violations.

The verdict was confirmed by the appeal chamber presided over by the Malian magistrate Wafi Ougadeye on 27 April 2017. In addition to this sentence, Hissene Habre had to pay 20 million CFA francs to each of the 8,600 victims of his iron-fist regime.

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