France, US accused of complicity in atrocities
DAKAR, (CAJ News) – FRANCE and the United States have been urged to open official inquiries to determine to determine the role played by the previous administrations of the two governments to aid Hissène Habré, the jailed Chadian dictator who was recently convicted of atrocity crimes.
A global human rights group believes this is necessary after it emerged the two countries were pivotal in bringing Habré to power in 1982, despite his reputation for brutality.
Human Rights Watch has released two reports with over 200 pages combined, to back its claims.
Under President Ronald Reagan, the US reportedly provided covert assistance in 1981 and 1982 to Habré’s rebel forces to help him unseat President Goukouni Oueddei. France then led by François Mitterrand is said to have provided him with arms, logistical support and information.
“The United States and France were well aware of Habré’s brutal record, and yet continued to support him throughout his rule,” said Reed Brody, counsel at Human Rights Watch.
Both countries should examine how and why they supported a man convicted of crimes against humanity.”
Habré’s one-party rule was marked by widespread atrocities, including waves of ethnic cleansing with 40 000 people killed.
He was convicted of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, including sexual violence and rape, by the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Senegalese court system and sentenced to life in prison.
The verdict came after his victims worked for more than two decades to see him put on trial. – CAJ News
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