Home > Africa > Opinion: The trial of ‘Our Son-of-a-bitch’ in Africa | Politico.eu, BBC,

Opinion: The trial of ‘Our Son-of-a-bitch’ in Africa | Politico.eu, BBC,

A Senegalese court jails Chad ex-leader Hissene Habre for life for crimes against humanity, in the first African Union-backed trial of a former ruler.

Source: Hissene Habre: Chad’s ex-ruler convicted of crimes against humanity – BBC News

by Andrew Stroehlein

DAKAR, Senegal — They’re working on the hotel pool, which only reminds me of the mass atrocities we’re all here for.

The trial of former Chadian president Hissène Habré on charges of crimes against humanity, torture and war crimes started Monday. Or, more accurately, “restarted,” because at the formal beginning of the trial in July, the accused caused a commotion, and his lawyers failed to appear, forcing the judges to appoint him lawyers, who were then given 45 days to study the case.

The extra six-and-a-half weeks was but a blip in the 25 years the victims of abuses in Habre’s Chad have been waiting for justice — those who survived his rule (1982-90), anyway. It’s alleged that perhaps as many as 40,000 did not, having succumbed to torture, inhuman conditions of imprisonment and summary executions.

Some of those survivors are here at the steamy seaside hotel, along with activists, lawyers, experts and journalists all somehow involved in or covering the high-profile case. The air is sticky and humid; the atmosphere is a strange combination of relief and expectation.

Read the full story here: The trial of ‘Our Son-of-a-bitch’ in Africa

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