Opposition Leader Seeks International Criminal Court Case Against Chad For Protest Killings

Lawyers acting for the leader of opposition party Les Transformateurs have sent The Hague a dossier of charges against the Chadian government, saying they amount to crimes against humanity.

A key opposition leader has asked prosecutors to begin an investigation into Chad’s military government, hoping to bring it before the International Criminal Court.

Succès Masra, president of the Chadian opposition party Les Transformateurs, and his lawyers want the court at The Hague to charge Chad’s Transitional Military Council with crimes against humanity.

Masra was at the forefront of the Oct 20 protests against the prolongation of the mandate of the ruling military junta. He fled the country shortly after as the government declared him “wanted”.

Scores of people were killed and hundreds injured when protests against the prolongation of military rule turned violent.

Masra instructed Paris-based international criminal law specialists William Bourdon & Vincent Brengarth, who then transmitted the request to the ICC on Nov 9.

In the thirty-page document the Paris law firm accuses the president of the Chadian Transitional Military Council (TMC), General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, of being “the giver of the order for the generalised and systematic attacks” on the protesters.

Also cited in the document are the Chadian Minister of Public Security, General Idriss Dokony Adiker and Generals Moussa Haround Tirgo who is the Director General of the Chadian National Police, Ahmat Dary in charge of general intelligence and Taher Erda Tairo, head of the Chadian presidential guard.

Following a “National Sovereign Dialogue” which ended in October, the military government of Mahamat Deby announced it was extending its control of the country by two years. In the following protests more than 50 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded in towns and cities across the country.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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