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African Union Evaluates Preparations Ahead of the Commencement of the Hissene Habre Trial

March 12, 2015

African Union Evaluates Preparations Ahead of the Commencement of the Hissene Habre Trial

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African Union Evaluates Preparations Ahead of the Commencement of the Hissene Habre Trial

AFRICAN UNION EVALUATES PREPARATIONS AHEAD OF THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE HISSENE HABRE TRIAL

Dakar, 12 March 2015 – Prof. Vincent O. Nmehielle, Legal Counsel of the African Union Legal Counsel and Chairperson of the Steering Committee for the Funding of the Hissene Habre Trial says all necessary measures must be taken to ensure that the trial of Mr. Hissene Habre, former president of Tchad from 1982 until 1990, was carried out in line with fair trial standards. The Legal Counsel was speaking in Dakar, Republic of Senegal, on 11 March 2015 while chairing the 7th ordinary session of the Steering Committee responsible for the funding of the trial of Mr. Hissene Habre, on behalf of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.

The purpose of the meeting was to consider preparations for the commencement of the Habre trial particularly since the investigation stage and the confirmation of charges were completed in February 2015; the financial and activity report of the African Extraordinary Chambers (AEC) for the period of July to December 2014; the Draft Communication Strategy of AEC; and the third quarter outreach report.

The Minister of Justice and Human Rights of Chad, Mr Mahamat Issa Halikimi, who was attending the Steering Committee meeting reiterated the commitment of the Government of Chad to fully cooperate and to ensure that the trial was properly done in a fair and transparent manner especially since the trial was a historical moment for Africa. “This will be the first time that an African former Head of State will be tried in the continent by an African Judicial Mechanism” he underlined. The Minister expressed appreciation for the work done so far by the African Extraordinary Chambers, the Government of Senegal and the African Union and the Partners to ensure that the Decision of the AU Heads of State and Government with respect to the trial of Mr. Hissene Habre was fully implemented.

The AU Legal Counsel informed the members of the Steering Committee of that the AU delegation and the administrative officials of the Chambers would on 12 March 2015 carry out a visit to the detention center where Mr. Hissene Habre was being held to ensure that appropriate detention standards were complied with as observed by the AU delegation and other members of the Steering Committee in such previous visits since the detention of Habre on 2 July 2013. Mr Habre was indicted by the African Extraordinary Chambers for war crimes, torture and crimes against humanity.

It is worth recalling that the African Extraordinary Chambers is a Special mechanism set up by the African Union and the Government of the Republic of Senegal to try the most responsible perpetrators of the international crimes committed in Chad during the reign of president Habre from 1982 to 1990.

For more information, please contact the Office of Legal Counsel of the AU at the following address: E-mail: CamaraF@africa-union.org.

Interview requests should be addressed to Ms. Esther Azaa Tankou, Head of Information Division, Directorate of Information and Communication of the African Union, Tel: +251 911361185 E-mail: yamboue@africa-union.org / esthertankou@yahoo.com

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For further information contact
Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: dinfo@african-union.org I Web Site: www.au.int I Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

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