Docu: Hissein Habre, A Chadian Tragedy


Former Chad Dictator Hissein Habré is the first African leader convicted in another AFrican country for genocide, torture and crimes against humanity. During this HagueTalks, hold on the International Day of Human Rights, you will hear the stories of the victims of Habré in the documentary ‘Hissein Habré, a Chadian Tragedy’.

The documentary is introduced by Chad expert Mirjam de Bruin. After de screening of the documentary, former prisoner Clément Abaïfouta will talk about his testimony during the trial, and about the importance of the conviction for him and the other victims. And he talks with the audience about the impossible question: How should a society continue, after so much violence and pain?

About the speakers

Mirjam de Bruijn. Anthropologist and Africanist at the Leiden University. She focuses on West and Central Africa and has worked in Chad’s capital N’Djamena and in Central Chad. She has coordinated projects around reconciliation and music amongst youth. She has founded Voice4Thought, a festival for young African musicians. Mirjam travels to Chad on a regular basis.

Clément Abaïfouta. Frontman of the Association of the Victims of the Hissein Habré Regime. Clément plays an important role in the documentary. He was one of the witnesses during the trail against Hissein Habré.


About this documentary

The Chadian dictator Hissein Habré’s reign of terror lasted from 1982 to 1990. During his reign, the secret police force tortured hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, resulting in nearly 40,000 deaths.Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun wanted to document these virtually unknown events through the victims’ testimonies, so he visited some of them, accompanied by the chairman of the Association of the Victims of the Hissein Habré Regime. He gives them a voice and in some cases brings them into contact with former members of the secret police.