Background Briefing

index  |  next>>

Recommendations to the Committee of Eminent African Jurists

The Committee of Eminent African Jurists should:

  1. Re-affirm that Senegal has a legal obligation to extradite or prosecute Hissène Habré based on the 1984 U.N. Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
  1. Recommend that Senegal extradite Hissène Habré to Belgium. This the most concrete, realistic, and timely option for ensuring that Mr. Habré is able to respond to the charges against him with all the guarantees of a fair trial.

If the ready available option of extradition to Belgium is not chosen because the A.U. wishes to pursue the possibility of an African mechanism, the CEAJ should propose that Mr. Habré be tried in Senegal, with Senegal incorporating the results of the four-year Belgian pre-trial investigation. The CEAJ should add the proviso that if Senegal is unable or unwilling to make the necessary legislative changes by the January 2007 A.U. summit to give its courts judicial competence over Mr. Habré’s alleged crimes, the A.U. should recommend that Senegal extradite Hissène Habré to Belgium.

3. In order to deal with issues of a similar nature in the future, recommend that:

  • All African states ratify the principal international anti-impunity instruments including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the U.N. Convention against Torture, and the Geneva Conventions, and that they bring their domestic legislation into harmony with these conventions so that they are in a position to fulfill their obligations without undue delay; and

  • A fund be created, open to international donors, to assist African states in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the worst international crimes.

    index  |  next>>December 2005