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Hissene Habre Trial: Senegal, African Union Reach Deal On Trying Ex-Chadian Dictator

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President of Chad Hissene Habre wearing a white embroidered hat & robe at an OAU meeting. (Photo by William F. Campbell//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
President of Chad Hissene Habre wearing a white embroidered hat & robe at an OAU meeting. (Photo by William F. Campbell//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

DAKAR, Senegal -- Senegal and the African Union say they have reached a preliminary agreement on how to try a former Chadian dictator who is accused of ordering thousands of political opponents to be tortured or killed.

The move comes a week after the International Court of Justice ordered Senegal to try Hissene Habre or extradite him.

Senegalese Justice ministry official Amadou Baal said Wednesday an African magistrate will preside over the special court and will be assisted by two Senegalese judges. The agreement reached Tuesday after four days of talks still needs final approval.

The Senegalese government has said it intends to start proceedings against Habre before the end of the year.

Habre ruled the Central African nation from 1982-1990 and sought exile in Senegal after being ousted from power.

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