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Senegal set to host Feb. trial of ex-Chad dictator

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January 16, 2013 08:58 AM EST | AP


DAKAR, Senegal — Senegal's justice minister says former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre will go on trial next month for alleged crimes against humanity.

The trial got the go-ahead after a vote in Senegal's parliament last month. It is to take place in a special tribunal authorized under the African Union and would mark a major step toward Africa dealing with its own alleged war criminals.

Justice Minister Aminata Toure said Tuesday that the trial is expected early next month. Belgium has offered to help finance the cost of special African tribunals within Senegal's court system.

Habre faces accusations of torture, crimes against humanity and war crimes during his rule from 1982 to 1990. He has enjoyed 22 years of impunity after fleeing to Senegal – leaving behind a country strewn with mass graves.