Reactions in Chad after the death of Hissène Habré

The former Chadian dictator died in Dakar on Tuesday, April 24. After contracting Covid-19, he was admitted to the hospital. For war crimes and crimes against humanity, he was sentenced to life in prison. Hissène Habré’s death has left no one unmoved, from Chadian citizens who know his reign to his former lieutenants. Testimony.

Relatives of the victims hope to receive compensation

Hissène Habré would pay 20 million CFA to each of the 8,600 civilian victims. However, these amounts have never been paid to the plaintiffs.

This should encourage the Senegalese judicial authorities to seize the property of Hissène Habré and the African Union in order to set up the Compensation Fund quickly. […] There is no reason that can block the repair process. Everything is in place. But what I regret is this political malice from the African Union, Senegal and Chad, which is making things stop. Unfortunately, this is the African reality.

For some of these victims, the memory of Hissène Habré’s prisons is still alive, as shown by Souleymane Guengueng, Vice President of the Association of Crime Victims and Political Oppression in Chad.

You could not believe that people like us could treat each other this way. Personally, I have done five different prisons and I have even had to live with corpses […] to live in a cell for a person where we were eight, where no one could stretch their legs. Two weeks was enough to have paralyzed legs […] What this regime has done is beyond comprehension.

Hissène Habrés arv

What trace does Hissène Habré leave in the memory of the Chadians? Above all, as a dictator who committed crimes against his people, believes the academic, lawyer and political scientist Ousmane Houzibé. Political Science at the National School of Administration of Chad, also assesses that Hissène Habré knew how to face a certain national pride and fight corruption.

Hissène Habré is nicknamed “the African Pinochet”. Hissène Habré ruled this country with an iron fist by oppressing the Chadians with a militia: the Directorate for Documentation and Security (DDS), which killed at least 40,000 people. But beyond all the abuses that the Chadian people have known, there is a memory that people can keep of Hissène Habré, which is that at the time he ruled, Chad did not know of any existence, of embezzlement of public funds, state authority was respected, Chadian citizens were disciplined and cultivated a national feeling …

After all, the legacy of the one who ruled Chad is appreciated by the streets. There are those who praise his qualities as a good head of state and those who point to his regime and the atrocities of the victims until it is not compensated while justice has condemned the former president for five years.

Reactions from Chadians on the streets of Ndjamena

The political class also reacts

Jean-Bernard Padaré, Deputy Secretary General and spokesman for MPS, the party of Marshal President Idriss Déby, sends his condolences to the Habré family. It also comes back to him about the legacy of the former president …

A reaction of grief. It is true that it was the MPS who came to get him out of power, it is the MPS government that wanted him to answer for his actions in the face of international justice. […] He did not do all the bad things. He was one of the forerunners of claiming pride in being African, in being Chadian. Chad was invaded by the Libyans. He did everything with his comrades in his arms at that time …

Saleh Kebzabo, leader of the opposition under Idriss Déby and several times as presidential candidate, was recently appointed Vice-Chair of the National Dialogue Organizing Committee. He reacts to Hissène Habré’s death.

In the 31 years since he was overthrown by Idriss Déby, former President Habré still has many supporters in the country [après] the political decency they have observed up to now will now have room to act, to more openly advocate the national cause which calls us all and which is the gathering of chadians for an inclusive dialogue. The fact that this page is turning is an element in favor of all Chadians.

Finally, testimony from General Gouara Lassou, who was the second personality of the state during the reign of Hissène Habré. The retired official now believes that the former Chadian president was one of the best heads of state in Chad’s history. He even disputes the 40,000 deaths attributed to the regime as he was number two.

CHAD _His evening GOUARA LASSOU ex no 2 by Hissène HABRÉ

In Senegal, Hissène Habré will also leave some memories

He lived for 30 years in Senegal, between the districts of Ouakam and Almadies. Enough to weave your network and build a good reputation. Our correspondent in Dakar, Thea Ollivier, therefore, went to these neighborhoods to gather testimonies from those who worked very closely with him and his family.

Everyone is upset. He is a person who felt good about his surroundings. He was social, he was generous, really pious …

Reactions in the Dakar district Hissène Habré

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