Chad’s ex-ruler Hissène Habré has died at the age of 79 while serving a life sentence in Senegal, AFP and Reuters news agencies quote Senegalese justice ministry officials as saying.

He is reported to have contracted coronavirus in jail in Senegal’s capital, Dakar.

Habré was found guilty in 2016 of crimes against humanity committed while he was president from 1982 to 1990.

The conviction was the result of a landmark trial in Senegal. It was the first time an African Union-backed court had tried a former ruler for human rights abuses.

Habré was accused of being behind rape, sexual slavery and ordering killings while in power. He denied any involvement.

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