The week in #GlobalJustice news & views

A mobile court in Kalehe, DRC. © Physicians for Human Rights

This week in #GlobalJustice, a group of 146 Congolese and international organizations including the International Federation for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch called on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to establish a special tribunal for serious rights abuses and incorporate the Rome Statute into Congolese law in order to increase the capacity of national courts to prosecute those responsible for grave atrocities in the DRC.



Central African Republic

Amnesty International said that the European Union’s deployment of 1,000 troops to the CAR must be only the beginning of the international community’s response. Human Rights Watch reported that anti-balaka forces killed at least 72 Muslim men and boys during attacks in remote villages and warned that peacekeepers are failing to protect civilians. Meanwhile, Chad is withdrawing its forces from the African Union peacekeeping mission, and the chief of the anti-balaka forces claimed that that the Boko Haram is operating in Bangui. Meanwhile, ICC judges ordered ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to disclose information from an informant on the alleged witness bribery scheme run by Jean-Pierre Bemba et al.

Kenya

In an interview, former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo clarified that he never said the ICC cases against William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta were “fixed” saying that Kenyan media had twisted his words. Judges rescheduled the start of the Uhuru Kenyatta trial to 7 October and instructed the Kenyan government to comply with the prosecution’s requests for Kenyatta’s phone and financial records. In the Ruto/Sang case, judges rejected a prosecution bid to appeal a ruling allowing Ruto to skip some trial hearings. A witness in the case said that Kalenjin youth attackers appeared to be directed by someone during the 2007 post-election violence. Ruto’s defense questioned whether a prosecution witness downplayed the role played by Kikuyus during the violence. A Kenyan journalist asked why so many Kenyans call all ICC witnesses “liars.”

Darfur

The EU refused to invite ICC fugitive Omar Al-Bashir to its Africa summit, causing Sudan to accuse the EU of trying to divide Africa. Al-Bashir took part in the last part of a tribal summit in Chad, during which participants recommended disarming all but regular government forces in Darfur. Darfur internally displaced persons (IDP) denounced the outcomes of the summit. JEM rebels accused Sudan’s second vice president of supervising militia attacks in Darfur and alleged that the attacks are part of a ethnic cleansing campaign, while the North Darfur state government convened an emergency meeting to discuss Janjaweed attacks. Sudanese forces reportedly denied UNICEF and UNAMID access to a North Darfur IDP camp.

Democratic Republic of Congo

IRIN profiled the lives of child soldiers in the DRC.

Libya

Armed militias still wield power in Libya, Reuters reports.

Uganda

Members of Parliamentarians for Global Action from Uganda, the DRC and the CAR welcomed the United States’ renewed commitment to arrest LRA leaders.

Mali

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon warned that the security situation in northern Mali is deteriorating, while peacekeepers in the country began the process of locating barracks in which to confine rebels.

Preliminary Examinations

Human Rights Watch’s Patricia Gossman warned that schools and hospitals will be at risk of Taliban attacks when used as polling centers for Afghanistan’s presidential election. Colombia wants a truth commission to be held after a peace deal is concluded with the FARC rebel group. Amnesty International called on the international community to ensure that crimes allegedly committed duringNigeria‘s Boko Haram conflict are fully investigated, while the International Crisis Group warned that the Boko Haram’s growing strength is a risk to local and regional stability. A Nigerian activist called for an ICC investigation after 30 civilians were reportedly killed in a raid by Nigerian military forces. Nigerian courts dismissed terrorism allegations against the suspended governor of the country’s central bank, who had previously denied being a major financier of the Boko Haram group.

Campaign for Global Justice

The Coalition urged Armenia to join the ICC. Amnesty International Mexico called on Mexico‘s legislature to approve a constitutional amendment that would allow greater cooperation with the ICC. A Nepalese activist is launching a hunger strike after Nepal’s government failed to ratify the Rome Statute. Palestine will soon move to join a group of international organizations, but the ICC reportedly is not among them.

What else is happening?

The International Federation for Human Rights and a coalition of NGOs called on participants at the EU-Africa summit to reaffirm their commitments to the ICC and ending impunity, while Human Rights Watch called for the summit to reaffirm the importance of the ICC as a court of last resort for the world’s worst crimes. Citizens for Global Solutions discussed the importance of increased funding for the Trust Fund for Victims. Finally, France’s UN envoy called for the Security Council veto to be scrapped in cases involving mass atrocities.

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