Senegal committed to Habre trial

2012-03-17 08:19

The Hague - Senegal told the United Nations' highest court on Friday that it is committed to putting former Chad president Hissene Habre on trial, countering Belgium's claim that Dakar has done nothing to prosecute one of Africa's most notorious dictators.

The tug of war at the International Court of Justice between Belgium and Senegal over the right to try Habre is the latest battle in more than two decades of legal wrangling since he was ousted from power in 1990 and sought refuge in Dakar.

Belgium indicted Habre in 2005 on charges including crimes against humanity and torture, based on complaints by survivors of his brutal eight-year rule who had grown frustrated at Senegal's failure to try him.

Brussels is now asking the world court to order Senegal to prosecute or extradite Habre, based on its obligations under an international torture convention.

Senegal lawyers said on Friday the case is unnecessary because Dakar is working toward putting Habre on trial and argued that the world court has no jurisdiction to intervene.

The leader of Senegal's delegation to the world court, Cheikh Tidiane Thiam, said his country is "taking appropriate measures and steps to prepare for the trial of Mr Habre."

Discussions over how and where to prosecute him have been dragging on for years and have turned Habre into a symbol of Africa's inability to try alleged war criminals from the continent.

Lawyer Abdoulaye Dianko said on Friday Senegal indicted Habre in 2000 but the indictment was later dismissed. Six years later, the African Union called on Senegal to "try Habre for Africa and on African soil", Dianko said.

In 2010, the Economic Community of West African States urged Senegal to set up an ad hoc international tribunal to try Habre, further complicating and delaying moves to bring him to trial.

According to a Human Rights Watch report, Habre seized power in 1982 and swiftly established a brutal dictatorship to stamp out any opposition. He was finally toppled by current Chad President Idriss Deby in 1990.

A Chadian commission of inquiry concluded Habre's regime killed and tortured tens of thousands of political opponents.

Judges in The Hague are expected to take months to reach a decision. World court rulings are final and legally binding.

- AP
Read more on:    hrw  |  hissene habre  |  chad  |  senegal  |  central africa  |  west africa  |  war crimes
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.