Chad’s government said Tuesday it has no plans to pay official homage to Hissene Habre, after the former president, serving life in Senegal for crimes against humanity, died from Covid-19.
In view of his crimes and his “out of respect for his victims”, there will be “no official homage“, the government told AFP.
Chad’s former dictator, 79, succumbed to coronavirus in Dakar’s main hospital on Tuesday.
Habre seized power in 1982, ruling Chad with an iron fist until he fled to Senegal in 1990 after being ousted Idriss Deby Itno.
His rule was marked by brutal crackdowns on dissent, including alleged torture and executions of opponents, and some 40,000 people are estimated to have been killed, earning Habre the nickname of “Africa’s Pinochet”.
“We’re not opposed to the body being repatriated to Chad, even as our thoughts are with all of the victims of his rule,” said government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah.
“It’s up to his family to decide.” Habre’s family had issued no official statement by late Tuesday and there was no indication as to where he will be buried.
“We bow to his remains as former president of Chad,” spokesman Koulamallah said.
The head of Chad’s military junta and son of Idriss Deby Itno, Mahamat Idriss Deby, expressed his “sincere condolences to (Habre’s) family and the Chadian people.
“To God we belong and to Him we return,” he wrote on Twitter.