HISSENE HABRE: A CHADIAN TRAGEDY

We have selected Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's new documentary, Hissene Habre: A Chadian Tragedy as the Festival Film of 2016. This film is a heart-breaking account of the horror inflicted on the people during Hissene Habre's rule.

There was no end to the atrocities committed by the Chadian dictator during the years of his dictatorship from 1982 to 90. Where many African rulers escape justice, Habré was successfully prosecuted for crimes against humanity by a Senegalese court, set up with the support of the African Union.  For a continent that rarely sees justice served to rulers who murder and wrongly incarcerate their own people, these proceedings were a test for the efficacy of justice in Africa. Who can forget the riots in Dakar when the tribunal opened last year, after a 25-year campaign. Haroun's Hissene Habre: A Chadian Tragedy is a must-watch for all Africans and we are proud to present the Nigerian premiere at Ake Arts and Book Festival.

After the film, Olaokun Soyinka who was deeply involved in the anti-Abacha struggle will interview Clement Abaifouta, the president of the Chadian Victim's Association which fought long and hard to bring Hissene Habre to justice. Mr Abaifouta was himself arrested in July 1985 by Habre's notorious political police because he suspected of links to the opposition. He was in prison for four years, during which he was in charge of burying up to 500 co-detainees in mass graves outside N'Djamena. It is a huge honour to have him with us at Ake Arts and Book Festival.