Arusha, November 25, 2010 (FH) - Gathered in Dakar, international donors have committed themselves to 8.6 million Euros to finance the prosecution of former Chadian President Hissène Habré, the African Union (AU) announced on Thursday.

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After lengthy negotiations, the AU and European Union had presented a budget of €8.59 million. The amount covers a 20-month pre-trial investigation and a 5-month trial.

Proceedings against the former President of Chad can now go ahead in Senegal, a country mandated in 2006 by the UA to prosecute Habré.

Habré is charged with crime against humanity, crimes of war and acts of tortures, committed while he ruled Chad from 1982 to 1990, before fleeing to Senegal. Habré was first indicted in Senegal in February 2000, but Senegalese courts ruled that he could not be tried there. His victims then turned to Belgium and, after a four-year investigation, a Belgian judge in September 2005 sought his extradition.

However, on July 2, 2006, the African Union said it would instead "mandate" Senegal to prosecute Habré "on behalf of Africa," and President Abdoulaye Wade declared that Senegal would do so. Since, Senegal had conditioned the trial to receiving €27 million, its estimate of the costs, from the international community.

Donors' contributions will be put onto a Bank account managed by the United Nation Office for Project Services (UNOPS).


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