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Senegal: ICJ orders to extradite or prosecute Hissène Habré

last updated Aug 08, 2012

On July 20, 2012, The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that Senegal has to try the ex-Chad dictator Hissène Habré immediately if they continue refusing his extradition. Hissène Habré is accused of responsibility for widespread torture and the killing of tens of thousands opponents when he ruled Chad from 1982 till 1990. Senegal, where he fled after being deposed, refused to extradite him four times, even though Habré was charged by Belgium with Crimes Against Humanity and Torture in 2005. The Court decided that Senegal failed to meet its international obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture by not bringing Habré to account. Hence, the sentence is interpreted to set an important precedent. After an unsuccessful intent by the Dakar Regional Court to indict him for "crimes against humanity, acts of torture and barbarity” in 2000 and several cancelled negotiations with the African Union, Senegal is now considering the possibility of creating a special court within its own justice system to try the former dictator.