Tribunal to try Chad ex-dictator in Senegal to become operational soon, rights expert says

A human rights expert says that the tribunal which will try ex-Chadian dictator Hissene Habre in the nation of Senegal, where he is exiled, is due to become operational soon.

Reed Brody, lawyer for Human Rights Watch, said Monday the court proceedings could begin later this month.

Habre was the president of Chad from 1982 until 1990, when he was deposed in a coup. In 1992, the Chadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission accused him of having carried out some 40,000 political murders. He fled to Senegal, and for more than 21 years the country has dragged its feet on bringing him to justice.

In Chad, Clement Abaifouta, the head of a victims' association, said he is anxiously awaiting the trial so that he can resume his normal life.