First tensions between Chad and the African Chambers

25 June 2014 by Nathalie Magnien, N'Djamena (Chad)

A fourth investigative mission to Chad in the Hissène Habré case before the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) concluded on 9 June, with pressure continuing to mount on Chadian authorities to transfer two suspects to face trial in Senegal.

During this mission, which began on 24 May, EAC investigative judges and chief prosecutor Mbacke Fall were accompanied by a team of forensic anthropologists from Argentina. Their task was to conduct exhumations of suspected mass graves in the country’s south (Déli, Koumra) and north-east (Abéché, Mongo). “Some interesting discoveries were made,” prosecutor Fall told IJT. “There will now be expert reports, even ballistic analyses, and the report should be available in three months, around the end of August.”

Nearly one year after the indictment of former Chadian president Habré, on 2 July 2013, and more than a year since Chad and Senegal signed a judicial cooperation agreement to facilitate the work of the EAC, the court is completing its investigations, without major hindrance. Donors agreed to an eight-month extension to the anticipated duration of the investigation, at the judges’ request. And yet, storm clouds are gathering over the transfer from N’Djamena of two of the five additional suspects, that the EAC are requesting for six months.

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