Chadian former dictator Hissène Habré has been sentenced to life in prison by a Senegalese court on Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity and rape.
Mr Habre, who ruled the country from 1982 to 1990 before he was toppled by current president Idriss Derby, was accused of the killing and torture of tens of thousands of political prisoners.
He denied the charges.
“The systematic torture at such a large scale was his way of governing,” Gberdao Gustave Kam, the presiding judge said in his judgement. “Hissène Habré showed no compassion toward the victims or any regret about the massacres and rapes that were committed.”
“The feeling is one of complete satisfaction,” said Clement Abeifouta, president of a Habré survivors association, CCTV-Africa quoted him as saying.
“It’s the crowning achievement of a long and hard fight against impunity. Today Africa has won. We say thank you to Senegal and to Africa for judging Africa,” he added.
The trial spun a period of two years.
The case was heard by the CAE (Chambres africaines extraordinaires) special tribunal set up by the African Union under a deal with Senegal, and is the first time a country has prosecuted a former leader of another nation for rights abuses, CCTV- Africa reported.