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A desert warfare specialist, Chad's Hissene Habre seized power in 1982 and quickly embraced the role of ruthless dictator, with brutal atrocities the hallmark of his eight-year reign of terror. Often dressed in combat fatigues that complemented his "desert fighter" nickname, Habre fled to Senegal after he was ousted by Chad's current President Idriss Deby in 1990. Sentenced to life on Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity and a litany of other charges, the 73-year-old's rule was marked by fierce crackdowns on dissent, including alleged torture and executions of opponents, earning him comparisons to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
A special court in Senegal sentenced former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre to life in prison on Monday for war crimes, crimes against humanity and a litany of other charges, including rape. Habre was guilty of war crimes, crimes against humanity, rape, forced slavery, and kidnapping, said the president of the court Gberdao Gustave Kam, sentencing him to life in jail. Victims groups who had travelled to Dakar to hear the verdict were visibly moved by a judgement that comes a quarter century after the abuses they suffered.