Senegal ‘To Lose US Aid Unless It Extradites Habre’ – AFP

Senegal risks losing up to $50 million in US aid if it fails to bring former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre to justice, a regional rights group warned Wednesday.

“More than 25 billion CFA francs risk being completely jeopardised by Senegal’s inability to comply with its international obligations and try or extradite Hissene Habre,” RADDHO said in a statement.

The Dakar-based African Assembly for the Defence of Human Rights said that while Washington had earmarked the amount for Senegal, some US representatives had voiced concern over the lack of progress in the Habre case.

Habre, dubbed Africa’s Pinochet for atrocities committed under his rule, has been living in Senegal since fleeing his country in 1990 after being ousted by President Idriss Deby Itno. He had ruled for eight years.

A 1992 truth commission report in Chad said that during his time in power, Habre presided over up to 40,000 political murders and widespread torture.

While mandated by the African Union to put Habre on trial, Senegal has dragged its feet for years.

Last year, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade announced he would send Habre back to Chad but backed down at the last minute under pressure from rights groups and the United Nations.

The 85-year-old Wade, who is controversially seeking another term in office in an election next month, said earlier this month in an interview that Habre’s extradition to Belgium was imminent.

“Very probably, Hissene Habre will be sent to Belgium. I have referred Belgium’s request to the Dakar court of appeal. If the court decides it, he will be extradited,” he said.

Belgium has wanted to try Habre since 2005, when it issued an international arrest warrant for “serious violations of international humanitarian law”.


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