The Extraordinary African Chambers: A New Approach to Victim Participation in International Criminal Tribunals?
Twenty-five years after his fall from power, former Chadian President Hissène Habré is standing trial before the Extraordinary African Chambers in Dakar, Senegal. The Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) is an ad hoc chamber established within the Senegalese courts by agreement between the African Union and the government of Senegal. The mandate of the EAC is to judge those most responsible for the crimes committed in Chad between 1982 and 1990, the period of Habré’s presidency, during which an estimated 40,000 people were killed or disappeared. President Habré’s regime was marked by grave human rights violations and targeted violence against the Chadian population, notably against specific ethnic groups including the Sara, the Hadjarai, the Zaghawa, and Chadian Arabs. The charges against Habré include crimes against humanity, war crimes, and torture, and are based on the findings of a nineteen month-long investigation.