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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Trial more likely for 'Africa's Pinochet'
Former President of Chad Hissene Habre
Mr Habre: Has been dubbed Africa's Pinochet
President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal has said he is prepared to turn over for trial former Chadian leader Hissene Habre, if a third country can be found willing and able to hold a fair hearing.

Mr Wade said he could see no objection to sending Mr Habre abroad to answer war crimes charges.

"If a country capable of holding a fair trial - Belgium has been mentioned - wants to, I see no obstacle," Wade said in an interview with the Swiss daily Le Temps .

But President Wade warned this had to be done soon, as he could not keep the former Chadian leader in Senegal.

Mr Habre has spent the last decade in Senegal after being overthrown by the current Chadian President Idriss Deby in 1990.

Human rights groups hold Mr Habre responsible for some 40,000 executions and the torture of 200,000 people during his eight-year rule, which ended when he fled to Senegal in 1990.

Long campaign

Last month, Amnesty International urged President Wade to send Mr Habre abroad for trial, after the highest court in Senegal ruled he could not be tried there, as his alleged crimes were committed outside the country.

Senegal's President Abdoulaye Wade
President Wade: Wants Habre to leave Senegal

Chadian torture victims and human rights activists have carried out a long campaign against Mr Habre.

They have provided extensive documentation on alleged abuses carried out by the Chadian security forces, acting under his authorisation.

Hissene Habre has maintained a generally low profile in Senegal, living in a village on the outskirts of the capital, Dakar.

In the few interviews he has given, Mr Habre has strongly defended his record in government and talked of an international conspiracy against him.

See also:

07 Apr 01 | Africa
Senegal orders Habre out
20 Mar 01 | Africa
No trial for 'Africa's Pinochet'
05 Jul 00 | Africa
Anger over Habre acquittal
05 May 00 | Africa
Crisis on all fronts for Chad
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Chad
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