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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 21:22 GMT
Habre allowed to stay in Senegal
Chad's former President Hissene Habre (file photo, 1987)
Hissene Habre's regime is accused of murders and torture
The former President of Chad, Hissene Habre, can remain in Senegal until the African Union decides on his fate in January, Senegal's government has said.

Mr Habre is wanted in Belgium for alleged abuses committed under his rule between 1982 and 1990 and has lived in Senegal for 15 years.

Senegal says the African Union summit in Khartoum will rule on the matter.

A Senegalese court on Friday said it did not have the power to decide whether to extradite him.

'Africa's Pinochet'

On Saturday Mr Habre was arrested and then released for the second time in a few days.

It was revealed the interior ministry had signed an order putting Mr Habre "at the disposal of the president of the African Union".

Senegalese Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio said: "Taking into consideration the arguments of Mr Habre and his lawyers, our country... has decided to permit Mr Habre to remain in Senegal in expectation of a decision by the African Union."

Mr Gadio said it was "decided to put this issue before the next summit of African Union heads of state on January 23-24 in Khartoum because it is not really a Senegalese issue, but an African one".

Human Rights Watch has called Mr Habre "Africa's Pinochet". His administration has been accused of murdering and torturing political opponents.

Alleged victims filed complaints under Belgium's universal jurisdiction law, which allows Brussels judges to prosecute human rights offences anywhere.

Mr Habre denies any knowledge of atrocities.

Amnesty urges Habre extradition
30 Nov 05 |  Africa
Country profile: Chad
04 May 05 |  Country profiles

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