Belgium craves to get Habre in its custody
Amidst the controversy over Senegal’s aborted attempt to extradite former Chadian President Hissen Habre, Belgium is calling for him to be handed over to it.
In an interview with West Africa Democracy Radio, the Deputy Spokesman for the Belgium Foreign Ministry, Patrick Deboeck said, Habre was wanted by Brussels because some of its nationals were allegedly victimized by his regime.
But when asked how many Belgium nationals were victimized by Habre’s rule, Deboeck declined to comment.
The African Union (AU) had earlier given Senegal a mandate to try the ex-leader.
Human rights groups and victims of Habre’s brutal rule have for years been agitating for his trial and/or extradition from Senegal.
But while they want Habre extradited, some human rights are not happy with the former Chadian head of state being sent back to Chad, which is being ruled by his bitter enemy, President Idris Deby.
The New York based Human Rights Watch has issued a statement objecting to Habre’s extradition to Chad. The HRW says it does not believe that he will get a fair trial in his home country, where he had already been sentenced to death in absentia by a court in N’Djamena.
Belgium, a leading member of the European Union, was one of those unhappy with Senegal’s earlier decision (reversed on Sunday) to extradite the former Chadian President to Chad.
In a press statement released in Brussels on Sunday, the Belgium Foreign Ministry indicated that the government took serious exception to Senegal’s earlier announcement.
Before the Senegalese government reversed its decision to send Habre back to Chad, WADR’s Frank Sainworla asked Belgium’s Deputy Foreign Ministry spokesman Patrick Deboeck, why his government really wanted Habre handed over to it.Tweet