Chad Court Convicts Habre-era Security Officials of War Crimes, Torture

A court in Chad on Wednesday found 20 current and former security agents who served under ousted ruler Hissene Habre guilty of atrocities committed during his rule in the 1980s, including war crimes and torture. The trial was the first in Chad of any of Habre's accomplices, and is being hailed by human rights campaigners as a victory for Habre's victims. Defendants included the former head of the once much feared political police. Rights groups accuse Habre of killing up to 40,000 people in the eight years he ruled the oil-producing central African state. Following a 19-month investigation, the tribunal said last month it had enough evidence to try Habre. His trial is expected to open in May or June.