Senegal tribunal receives war crimes accusations against Chad president

Senegal tribunal receives war crimes accusations against Chad president

[JURIST] The Extraordinary African Chambers [official website] confirmed [France24 report] Thursday that war crime accusations have been filed against Chad’s President Idriss Deby [BBC profile]. The special tribunal in Senegal is overseeing the case against the former president of Chad, Hissène Habré [BBC profile], who was accused of crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. A Senegalese lawyer, Mbaye Jacques Ndiaye, filed the charges [Africa Review report] against Deby to hold him responsible for the role he played in perpetuating the alleged crimes of his predecessor while he served as Habré’s army chief.

Habré fled to Senegal after being deposed in 1990 and was charged with war crimes [JURIST report] and placed in pretrial detention by the Extraordinary African Chambers in July 2013. Known as “Africa’s Pinochet,” the former Chadian dictator must answer claims that members of his tightly managed Secret Service tortured and killed up to 40,000 people during his reign from 1982-90. In March a criminal court in Chad sentenced [JURIST report] sentenced seven ex-police officers to life in prison for crimes committed during Habré’s rule. More than 1,000 victims filed [JURIST report] for civil party status in 2013, asking the tribunal to officially recognize them as parties with an interest in the matter. The special tribunal suspended the trial [JURIST report] in July reportedly due to the need for court appointed attorneys to prepare Habré’s defense and will recommence [press release, in French] on September 7.