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Senegal to try former president of Chad for war crimes

The former president of Chad, Hissene Habre, will be put on trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture, announced a special tribunal in Senegal on Friday.

The Extraordinary African Chamber announced the decision in response to a 19 month investigation, with Mr Habre likely to face trial in May or June of this year. The 72 year old, who ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990, fled the country once he left office. Approximately 40,000 people are thought to have been killed under his government. He lived freely in Senegal until he was detained in June 2013.

The decision to make Mr Habre stand trial was hailed by Jacqueline Moudeina, lead lawyer for the victims, who called it an “an enormous victory for justice”.

"After so many years, Habre's victims are now on the verge of seeing justice done for what they have endured," she added.

The decision was also praised by Reed Brody, counsel for Human Rights Watch (HRW), who said it showed it was "possible for victims, with tenacity and perseverance, to bring a dictator to justice".

See more from AFP here and Reuters here.