Habre conviction warning to fellow dictators
From MACOUMBA BEYE in Dakar, Senegal
DAKAR, (CAJ News) – THE conviction of former Chadian President Hissene Habre on war crimes and crimes against humanity should be a deterrent to other dictators they would be held into account for similar atrocities.
This is according to diplomats as the international community welcomed the life sentence imposed on Habre.
The Senegal-based Extraordinary African Chambers found Habre including charges of murder, torture, rape and sexual slavery.
“Let this be a message to other perpetrators of mass atrocities, even those at the highest levels and including former heads of state, that such actions will not be tolerated and they will be brought to justice,” said United States Secretary of State, John Kerry.
Beginning in 1982, Habre’s eight-year term as the president of Chad was marked by large-scale, systematic violations, including those involving murder of an estimated 40 000 people, widespread sexual violence, mass imprisonment, enforced disappearance and torture. He was deposed in 1990.
The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Zainab Hawa Bangura, welcomes the judgment against Habre.
Bangura said, “The verdict sends a clear message to the perpetrators of mass atrocity crimes, including sexual violence, that no matter who they are, no matter what position they hold, that they have nowhere to hide.”
Belgium congratulates Senegal for his courage and determination to bringing justice to victims, an advance in the fight against impunity.
– CAJ News
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