On Monday, the UN peacekeeping mission in the CAR took over authority of peacekeeping operations in the country from the African Union.
Amnesty International (AI) urged the UN to bring the peacekeeping mission up to full capacity as soon as possible, and Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on peacekeepers to urgently improve protection for CAR civilians in regions where violence is increasing. In addition to guaranteeing the security of civilians, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) urged the peacekeeping mission to ensure rule of law and fight against impunity. FIDH also called on the CAR’s transitional government to create a special court to try atrocity crimes.
According to the Associate Press, over 5,000 people have been killed in the CAR since December.
Witness 604 testified that William Ruto may have consulted on a fundraising event that the witness previously denied took place. The witness also told ICC judges that a woman who recruited him to testify against Ruto also told him to implicate Joshua Sang. According to prosecution documents made public by William Ruto’s defense counsel, witness 604 was given Sh1 million for ‘accommodation and daily spending’ before recanting his testimony. Meanwhile, a second witness in the trial was declared hostile.
Fergal Gaynor, the victims’ representative in the Uhuru Kenyatta case, accused the Kenyan government of providing fabricated phone records to the prosecution. An ISS researcher argued that there are no good options for ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda when it comes to prosecuting Kenyatta.
An MP wants Kenya’s foreign minister sanctioned for failing to withdraw from the Rome Statute.
The UN appointed Abiodun Oluremi Bashua of Nigeria as the new head of the joint UN-AU Mission in Darfur. Meanwhile, some 1,350 Darfur rebels were reportedly integrated into the Sudanese army. Radio Dabanga reported that 45 women were raped in the past month in East Jebel Mara, Darfur.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The DRC’s Mai Mai Kifuafua rebels want government assurances that civilians living on the territory controlled by the group will be protected before they hand over their weapons. A group of Congolese NGOs said that the DRC still has a long way to go to live up to the pledges it made as part of its peace deal with the M23.
In a submission to the Universal Periodic Review, HRW noted that Libya’s justice system is dysfunctional and recommended that Libya cooperate with the ICC and ratify the Rome Statute. No Peace Without Justice convened a side event on transitional justice and accountability in Libya at the Human Rights Council. The Libyan National Commission for Human Rights accused the Libya Dawn militia of breaking into its headquarters. Meanwhile, Libya’s prime minister accused Qatar of sending weapons to the Islamist militias controlling Tripoli’s airport.
One peacekeeper was killed in Mali when a UN military vehicle struck a landmine.
The ICC reconstituted Trial Chamber I for the Laurent Gbagbo trial.
The foreign minister of Abkhazia said that he still supports talks with Georgia in Geneva but does not want to discuss the issue of displaced persons.
Parliamentarians for Global Action organized a visit to the ICC by members of parliament from Ukraine and welcomed the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement as a step towards Ukraine joining the Court. Additionally, AI urged Ukraine to join the ICC. The Ukrainian parliament voted to give autonomy to the eastern region controlled by rebels and extended amnesty to all except those involved in the downing of Flight MH17 and other grave crimes.
What else is happening?
FIDH is hiring a new representative to the ICC. Applications are due by 29 September.
The Hague Trials Kenya interviewed the Coalition’s William Pace about the upcoming ICC judicial elections. HRW called on governments to establish special war crimes units to investigate atrocity crimes worldwide. Belgium arrested a former Liberian rebel on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. UN investigators said that there is evidence that all sides in the Syrian conflict have committed atrocities. A Turkish businessman petitioned the ICC over crimes allegedly committed by the Turkish government. Blogger Kimberley Curtis argued that the ICC is unlikely to investigate alleged crimes in Mexico but that it would be beneficial if it did. The UN’s special rapporteur on transitional justice warned that few perpetrators of mass atrocities face justice.
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