N’Djamena/Dakar, Aug 24 (EFE).- Chad’s former dictator, Hissène Habré, who was serving a life sentence for crimes against humanity in the Senegalese capital Dakar, died Tuesday at the age of 79.
Habré was hospitalized after testing positive for coronavirus.
“Having learnt this morning of the sudden death of former president Hissène Habré, I send my sincere condolences to the family and to the people of Chad. We belong to God and to Him we return,” acting president of Chad, Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno, said in a statement posted on Twitter.
In a statement published hours earlier, his wife Fatimé Raymonne Habré had confirmed that he had been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Habré was serving a life sentence in Dakar after being convicted by the Extraordinary African Chambers in May 2016 for crimes against humanity while he was in office, when his regime was responsible for some 40,000 political assassinations and more than 200,000 cases of torture.
Nicknamed “Africa’s Pinochet,” Habré was president of Chad between 1982 and 1990, when he was overthrown by Idriss Déby who came to power after leading an armed rebellion.
Déby died aged 68 on April 19 fighting Chadian rebels from Libya and on the same day he had been declared the winner of the elections held earlier that month
Since his overthrow Habré had been in Senegal, where he had gone into exile, and was arrested on June 30, 2013 for crimes committed during his dictatorship. EFE