Chad’s former dictator kicked out of court for contempt

Hissene Habre, "Africa's Pinochet" is on trial in Senegal

Hissene Habre, “Africa’s Pinochet” is on trial in Senegal

The trial of Chad’s former ruler Hissene Habre is underway at a Dakar-based court without the high profile defendant as the was removed from the court for contempt.

He reportedly yelled “Down with imperialists. [The trial] is a farce by rotten Senegalese politicians. African traitors. Valet of America”. before being escorted out.

Habre is on trial in Senegal for crimes against humanity, crimes allegedly committed during his “reign of terror” in Chad between 1982-1990.

It is estimated Habre’s regime massacred 40,000 people, and relatives of the victims have been campaigning his trial for more than two decades.

Habre has been nicknamed “Africa’s Pinochet” after theformer Chilean dictator, Augusto Pinochet.

Habre’s trial in Senegal sets a precedent as it is the first time a former African head of state is tried in an African court rather than at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC).

The African Union (AU) has established the Senegal Court, as a way to potentially minimize cooperation with the ICC as African leaders have accused the court of “targeting”Africans.

Habre is facing torture, war crimes, and crimes against humanity counts. He denies all charges.

He had been living in Senegal for more than two decades until he was arrested two years ago following Human Right Watch intense pressure on the Dakar government to pursue Justice for the victims.