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U.S. welcomes conviction of Chad’s ex-dictator

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has welcomed the conviction of former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Kerry says Habre’s conviction is “a landmark in the global fight against impunity for atrocities.”

Habre was sentenced to life imprisonment for being responsible for thousands of deaths and tortures in prisons during his rule from 1982 to 1990. A 1992 Chadian truth commission accused Habre’s government of systematic torture, saying 40,000 people died during his rule.

Kerry says the case provides an opportunity for the United States to reflect on and learn from its connection with past events in Chad.

He says that without the persistence of Habre’s accusers and their demand for justice, the former dictator might never have faced a court of law.

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