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Chad's Habre convicted of crimes against humanity

The former Chadian ruler Hissene Habre has been sentenced to life after being convicted of crimes against humanity. at a trial in Senegal.

The landmark case examined allegations of rape, sexual slavery and extrajudicial killings during his reign in the eighties.

"This is a historic day for Chad and for Africa. It is the first time that an African head of state has been found guilty in another African country," Yamasoum Konar, a representative of one of the victims' groups, told the BBC.

"This will be a lesson to other dictators in Africa," he further said.

Human rights organisations also welcomed the verdict.

"Today will be carved into justice as the day that a band of unrelenting survivors brought their dictator to justice," said Reed Brody from Human Rights Watch, who has worked on the case for 17 years and was in court for the judgement, the BBC said.

In a post on the HRW site, Mr Brody said the case could inspire victims of other crimes.

"We hope that just as Habré’s victims were galvanized by what Pinochet’s victims achieved, other survivors, other activists, will now be inspired by what Hissène Habré’s survivors have been able to do," he said.

The US also welcomed the conviction although it was firmly behind Habre while he was in power.