Published December 19, 2012
DAKAR, Senegal – Senegal's national assembly has adopted a law authorizing the creation of a special tribunal within the Senegalese justice system in order to try ex-Chadian dictator Hissene Habre, who fled to Senegal to avoid prosecution in his home country 21 years ago.
The parliament on Wednesday passed the statute, which gives the Senegalese president the right to ratify an accord with the African Union in order to create the special court.
Rights groups have been pushing Senegal for decades to try Habre, and the regime of ex-President Abdoulaye Wade, who lost this year's election, was accused of purposely dragging its feet.
The Habre case has become emblematic of whether Africa is able to try its own. Lawmaker Cheikh Seck said "it's not up to the West to try Hissene Habre."