Former Chadian President Hissène Habré is due to be buried on Thursday.
Habre, a security ally of the West during the Cold War, died on Tuesday of COVID-19 complications while serving life imprisonment in Senegal for crimes against humanity committed during his brutal reign between 1982 and 1990.
He was 79.
His family said on Wednesday that he would be buried in the Muslim cemetery of Yoff in the Senegalese capital Dakar.
Senegalese Justice Minister, Malick Sall, said Habre contracted COVID-19 at a clinic in Dakar where he was taken 10 days ago from jail for medical reasons, adding that when his condition worsened, he was taken to Principal Hospital where he died.
Habre’s 1982-90 rule was marked by a lot of killings committed by his infamous political police, who rounded up opponents and held them in secret detention centres. Before he was overthrown, tens of thousands of people were killed, tortured, and raped.
He was convicted of rape, ordering the killing and torture of thousands of political opponents after a landmark trial in Senegal in 2016, where he fled after being ousted from office by Sudan-based forces.
“Hissene Habre will go down in history as one of the world’s most pitiless dictators,” said Reed Brody of the International Commission of Jurists, who has worked with Habre’s victims since 1999.
“(He was) a man who slaughtered his own people, burned down entire villages, sent women to serve as sexual slaves for his troops and built clandestine dungeons to inflict medieval torture on his enemies.”
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