Without information, no reconciliation

African leaders and justice

1 min 20Approximate reading time

Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has joined a short list of sub-Saharan African leaders sentenced for serious crimes committed while they held office.

On Monday, the Extraordinary African Chambers court in Senegal sentenced Habre to life in prison for war crimes, crimes against humanity and a litany of other charges, including rape.

Up to 40,000 people are believed to have been killed and many more kidnapped, raped or tortured under Habre's 1982-1990 rule as president of Chad.

Who are the others and where are they from?

- Convicted -

LIBERIA - CHARLES TAYLOR

Taylor was sentenced in 2012 to 50 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sierra Leone, where he armed rebels in return for "blood diamonds". Taylor was the first former head of state convicted by a world court since the post-World War II Nuremberg trials. His conviction was upheld in September 2013 and he remains imprisoned in Britain.

MALI - MOUSSA TRAORE

Overthrown in 1991 after 23 years in power, he was sentenced to death twice for "political crimes" in 1993 and, along with his wife, for economic crimes in 1999. The sentences were commuted to life in jail. Traore was pardoned in 2002.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - JEAN BEDEL BOKASSA

The former emperor Bokassa (1965-1979) was sentenced to death in 1987 for ordering a massacre of children. His sentence was commuted to hard labour for life and then changed to solitary confinement. He was freed in 1993, three years before his death.

- Convicted in absentia -

MADAGASCAR - MARC RAVALOMANANA

Ravalomanana, who had taken refuge in South Africa, was sentenced in absentia in August 2010 to life in prison and hard labour for the deaths of 30 protesters killed by his presidential guard in February 2009. He was arrested in October 2014 after he returned to Madagascar, but his sentence was then lifted and he was freed from house arrest in May 2015.

ETHIOPIA - MENGISTU HAILE MARIAM

Found guilty of genocide during the country's "Red Terror" in 1977-1978, he was in 2007 sentenced to life in prison in absentia, then condemned to death on appeal in May 2008. He has been living in exile in Zimbabwe since his regime was overthrown in 1991.

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