BashirWatch is calling on Indonesia to withdraw an invitation to Omar Al-Bashir to an Asia-Africa summit next month, or to arrest and transfer the Sudanese president to the ICC if he enters the country.
Al-Bashir has been wanted by the ICC for over 10 years for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide allegedly committed in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have died since 2003 and millions remain displaced.
Although Indonesia is not an ICC member state, the UN Security Council resolution which referred the situation in Darfur to the Court urges all UN members to fully cooperate with the ICC.
BashirWatch—a network of several civil society groups, including the Coalition for the ICC—also called on Indonesia to follow through on its promises to ratify the ICC Rome Statute.
Central African Republic
The UN is expected to authorize an additional 1,000 peacekeepers for the CAR.
The prosecution’s final witness in the case against Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto and broadcaster Joshua Sang testified via video link from a secret location in The Hague after delays in the proceedings caused by the witness’s failure to appear. The witness’s lawyers said that their client had been afraid to testify. Earlier, a status conference was held to discuss the witness’s failure to appear.
President Uhuru Kenyatta apologized for past wrongs throughout Kenya’s history, including the 2007-08 postelection violence, while pledging to set up a fund for restorative justice.
Walter Barasa denied any link to the Meshack Yebei murder.
Dozens were killed and wounded in renewed tribal clashes across Darfur. The Darfur Bar Association held the Sudanese government responsible for the recent outbreak of tribal fighting in Darfur, while Al-Bashir pledged to end the rebellion in Darfur. Leaders of the Zamzam camp for the displaced said that UNAMID cannot leave until peace is secured.
Democratic Republic of Congo
No Peace Without Justice welcomed ICC judges’ recommendation to hold part of the proceedings in the Bosco Ntaganda trial in the DRC. Writing for the International Justice Monitor, Wairagala Wakabi explained the challenges of holding Ntaganda’s trial in the DRC.
The Trust Fund for Victims committed to a draft reparations plan in the Thomas Lubanga case.
The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) called for the UN DRC peacekeeping force’s mandate to be strengthened ahead of elections. The Congolese offensive against the FDLR is progressing quickly, but many fear that it is failing to disarm the rebels. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council refused the Congolese government’s request to reduce the number of UN peacekeepers in the country until more progress has been made against the FDLR.
Local residents in a northern Uganda town called for Ugandan soldiers who fought against the Lord’s Resistance Army to undergo psychosocial rehabilitation.
FIDH and 12 other organizations urged the UN Human Rights Council to address impunity for human rights violations in Libya and push for increased cooperation with the ICC. A UN report revealed that Libyan activists who speak against abuses are targets of threatening and violent reprisals by all parties in the Libyan conflict.
Malian President Boubacar Keita vowed to uphold the government’s commitments under the current peace agreement even though it has not been signed by the main Tuareg-led rebel group.
The Institute for Security Studies analyzed the Simone Gbagbo trial, which has drawn strong criticism from many observers. An African Arguments columnist criticized the government’s handling of Gbagbo’s case, as well as the ICC for so far prosecuting only individuals affiliated with the Gbagbo government.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the US and Afghan governments to support the ICC prosecutor’s efforts to investigate alleged crimes in Afghanistan.
Amnesty International called on the UN Human Rights Council to ensure that victims’ right to justiceis paramount in Colombia’s peace process.
HRW found that Boko Haram attacks have killed more than 1,000 civilians in 2015. The group kidnapped over 400 women and children from Borno, Nigeria. Nigerian candidates Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari signed an agreement to prevent violence during the upcoming presidential election on Saturday. A This Day Live columnist argued that the ICC prosecutor’s concern over potential electoral violence is not misplaced.
Amnesty International published a report with evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Palestinian armed groups during the Gaza conflict last year. In an interview with National Public Radio, Palestine’s chief negotiator said that the government will give the ICC a file on Israeli settlements in Palestine. The UN deputy human rights chief told the Human Rights Council that the ICC’s potential involvement in the Israel-Palestine conflict could prompt improvements in domestic accountability mechanisms. Meanwhile, the Israeli military launched an investigation into the bombing of a UN school in Gaza during the conflict last July.
A Russian MP proposed the establishment of a Russian international court for war crimes instead of depending on the ICC, which he claimed is dependent on states sponsoring conflict in Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is gathering evidence to give to the ICC regarding alleged Russian actions in Crimea.
Campaign for Global Justice
The Swiss parliament approved the ratification of the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute. Iraq’s human rights minister acknowledged calls for his country to join the ICC and said that the government will render a decision after studying the matter. Angola and Egypt rejected recommendations to ratify the ICC Rome Statute during the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.
The Open Society Justice Initiative called on Guatemala to seek the renewal of its UN-backed anti-impunity commission.
What else is happening?
HRW welcomed the conviction for torture of 20 security agents from Chad’s Habré regime.
HRW accused armed opposition groups in Syria of indiscriminately targeting civilians. A number of rights groups, including FIDH and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, urged the UN to refer the Syrian conflict to the ICC. A Mic columnist outlined the difficulties in trying ISIS fighters at the ICC, as recommended by a recent UN report.
Iraq pledged to probe all alleged abuses in the country, including those committed by its own forces.
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