Chadian lawyer Jacqueline Moudeina represented the victims during Habre's trial by a special court.
Moudeina represented the victims during Habre's trial by a special court created by Senegal and the African Union.
AFP asked her if Thursday's verdict upholding Habre's life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity represented a turning point for African justice, and what its implications were for the increasingly unpopular International Criminal Court.
There will be a significant impact. You cannot imagine the joy this has brought today.
We have spent 17 years in search of justice, and we were stuck in a kind of tunnel. Now we are out of the tunnel and stepping into the light.
We are delivering a very strong message to dictators, to all human rights abusers. I believe everyone will pay attention. The fight against impunity has now begun in earnest, which is a turning point for Africa. Today, any African can allow himself to believe he could take on the most prolific offenders in court.
Definitely. It would suffice for the African Union, which took on the task of setting up this jurisdiction, to do it again for other cases, but with improvements. This is a huge start.
There were certainly errors that we will rectify in order to establish a very good jurisdiction.
The way we organised witnesses and the victims was very badly organised. Chad is very far away and many were not able to come here.
For sure. The ICC has a complementary role that works alongside national jurisdictions.
If today we have demonstrated that Africa is capable of judging Africans, we will no longer need to turn to the ICC, because we will have shown our capacity to judge our own.
It was the Chadian victims of Habre who brought the case. At the beginning, there was just seven of us. Today, we have more than 4,385 in our camp.
Two other associations have just over 3,000 victims and it is the victims who have done the work, not the West. They aren't from the West.