TrustAfrica supports civil society groups monitoring the Hissène Habré trial in Dakar, Senegal

February 6, 2016

TrustAfrica is enhancing independent coverage of the Habré Trial proceedings taking place in Dakar, Senegal. Since the trial began on 20 July 2015, TrustAfrica’s International Criminal Justice (ICJ) Fund has been working closely with a consortium of civil society organizations and law graduates to monitor, document, and share information on proceedings across various platforms. 

The ICJ Fund has mentored a group of law graduates from the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal, to monitor and provide daily reports on the proceedings. These reports are disseminated widely across various networks.

The work of these students provides an invaluable resource to activists and legal experts working on criminal justice issues in Africa and beyond. As the trial reopened on February 8, 2015 Le Monde newspaper highlighted TrustAfrica’s pioneering work in supporting documentation and monitoring of the groundbreaking trial. 

Below is an excerpt on the article in Le Monde 

Changing the rules of the game

A new civil society actor is lending crucial support: TrustAfrica, coordinates a consortium of foundations that are funding civil society observers of the Hissène Habré trial. These include a group of ten law students from the University of Dakar, referred to as “monitors”, who attend the Habré trial hearings and prepare daily reports in English.

TrustAfrica is based in Senegal and was founded by Akwasi Aidoo, a Ghanaian, who previously worked for the Ford Foundation in West Africa and is a Board member of Open Society Initiative for West Africa (Osiwa, a partner of Le Monde Afrique). A Foundation with considerable clout, TrustAfrica works to make a difference on issues ranging from good governance to health and education, social justice and human rights, where it is changing the rules of the game. In the same spirit as the Extraordinary African Chambers, which was established as Africa’s legal response to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, TrustAfrica seeks to position itself as an African alternative to major Western foundations and NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch. 

(This excerpt from the original article is a translation from French to English).



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