Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre.

Dakar, Senegal -

Senegal and the African Union say they've finalised a deal on how to try a former Chadian dictator who is accused of ordering thousands of political opponents to be tortured or killed.

The move comes about a month after preliminary agreement was announced. In July, the International Court of Justice ordered Senegal to try Hissene Habre or extradite him after years of delays.

Senegalese Justice Minister Aminata Toure told private radio station RFM that Wednesday's deal marks a big step toward trying Habre.

The Senegalese government has said it intends to start proceedings against Habre before the end of the year.

Habre ruled the Central African nation from 1982-1990 and sought exile in Senegal after being ousted from power. - Sapa-AP