With violence escalating in Libya, civil society is calling for new ICC investigations into potential war crimes and crimes against humanity. But in a report to the UN Security Council this week, the ICC prosecutor said the international community must do much more to support accountability in the divided country.
Ahead of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s briefing, the Coalition for the ICC urged ICC member states on the Security Council to compel cooperation with the ICC, underlining that non-cooperation with the Court in Libya is essentially non-cooperation with the UN. Human Rights Watch (HRW) meanwhile called on the Security Council to speak out strongly against impunity in Libya and urged the ICC prosecutor to investigate ongoing crimes in the country.
While at the UN, Bensouda also said that she is ready to investigate crimes allegedly committed by ISIS in Libya.
Prosecutor warns against election violence in Burundi
Perpetrators of violence ahead of elections in Burundi risk prosecution, the ICC prosecutor warned last week.
Fatou Bensouda expressed concern over violence and rising tensions ahead of Burundi’s upcoming elections, and warned that the Court has jurisdiction over any war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide in the country, which is party to the ICC Rome Statute.
Central African Republic
Ten armed groups in the CAR agreed to a peace deal that requires them to disarm. Amnesty International (AI) called for the accord to support efforts to ensure justice and accountability for grave crimes in the CAR. Militia groups released over 300 enslaved children.
HRW’s Liesl Gerntholtz argued that investigations into the alleged rape of children by French troops in the CAR should protect the rights of victims and not expose them to additional harm.
International justice expert Mark Kersten argued that the CAR’s special criminal court could set new precedents for shared responsibilities between national and international institutions prosecuting international crimes.
Jean-Pierre Bemba and his former lawyers say that they fear ongoing surveillance by ICC prosecutors.
The Kenyan government sent mixed messages on the ICC, with President Uhuru Kenyatta asking parliament to act on resolutions to leave the Rome Statute while the attorney general said the country remains committed to the Court. A Kenyan journalist argued that reporting on the ICC cases is becoming dangerous in Kenya.
A Politico columnist argued that US President Barack Obama should not visit Kenya becayse of the ICC cases.
Over 100 people were killed in tribal fighting in East Darfur this week, while Sudan claimed that it has made progress against rebels in Darfur. A Sudanese Rapid Response Forces commander declared Tawila, North Darfur a military area, stating that anyone present is a legitimate target. Activists say that attacks on Darfur students could lead to ethnic cleansing.
Democratic Republic of Congo
HRW called on Congolese authorities to ensure acquitted former militia leader Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui’s security and for the ICC to monitor his situation for as long as necessary. The UN said that a Ugandan Islamist group may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity in the DRC.
AI warned that refugees and migrants across Libya face torture, rape and abductions. Lawyers for Justice in Libya and a coalition of Libyan groups called on Libya to accept and implement recommendations made for the country during the Universal Periodic Review process.
Mali’s Tuareg-led rebels signed a preliminary peace accord as a sign of ‘good faith,’ but want more guarantees from the government before signing a final agreement. Separatists ambushed a military convoy near Timbuktu.
An Ivoire Justice columnist argued that the integration of former militias into the armed forces has been a failure (in French).
The FARC urged Colombia‘s government to include the ELN rebel group in peace talks.
Guinea’s exiled former junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara announced plans to run for president in October. Protesters clashed with security forces ahead of talks between the government and opposition aimed at resolving a dispute over the timing of the next election.
The Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri, Nigeria.
The ICC urged Israel to cooperate with the preliminary examination in Palestine.
Campaign for Global Justice
At the Universal Periodic Review, the US rejected several recommendations to join the ICC.
What else is happening?
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice published the May issue of Legal Eye on the ICC.
HRW welcomed the trial of former Chadian leader Hissène Habré, which will commence on 20 July 2015.
Investigators for the Commission for International Justice and Accountability say that they have built war crimes cases against Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and other government officials.
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