Operation Python Dance: ICC Acknowledges Receipt of Petition by…

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged receipt of a petition written against the Nigeria Army by a journalist following the invasion of the home of the leader of the civil rights group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, in an exercise codenamed Operation Python Dance which led to the killing members of the group as well as other members of the Afaraukwu community in Umuahia LGA of Abia State last year.

The petition written on September 24, 2017 to the Chief Prosecutor at the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, by Mr. Ahaoma Kanu, an award-winning journalist with National Daily Newspaper, decried the deployment of military personnel to the country home of the IPOB leader leading to killings, torture and human rights abuses perpetrated by soldiers of the Nigeria Army and the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai and called for an investigation and prosecution of the personnel involved in the well documented incident which occurred on September 16, 2017.

In a letter dated January 3, 2018 with reference number, OTP-CR-413/17, the Head of Information and Evidence Unit in the office of the Prosecutor, Mark P. Dillon, acknowledged receipt of the letter and accompanying documents while notifying the petitioner that the petition has been duly entered into the communications register of the Prosecutor’s office.

The letter, a copy which was made available to newsmen, reads in parts, “This communication has been duly entered in the communications register of the office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

The letter went on to note that the acknowledgment does not mean that an investigation has been opened, or that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor.

Dillon assured the petitioner that as soon as a decision is reached, “we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for the decision.”

source: The Nigerian Voice


Benue killings: FG, Security Agencies Have Abandoned Us

GOVERNOR Samuel Ortom of Benue State has accused the Federal Government and the various security agencies of abandoning the citizens of the state to be slaughtered by rampaging Fulani herdsmen. Ortom In an exclusive interview with Vanguard, Governor Ortom, who decried the recurring killing of Benue people by herdsmen, also lamented that a cabal has blocked communications with President Muhammadu Buhari. He added that if the intention of those blocking access to the President was to make the state rescind its decision to sign the anti-open grazing law, they have failed because, according to him, there is no going back on the law. The governor spoke as the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, criticised President Buhari over his alleged indifference to the Benue killings. Also, Benue Committee of Elders, led by veteran Journalist, Elder Simon Shango urged President Buhari to set up a commission of enquiry on the killings. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has appealed to Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to “urgently call and/or facilitate the holding of a special session of the UN Human Rights Council to address persistent killings apparently by herdsmen in Benue State and other parts of the country.” The organization also urged Prince Al Hussein to “speak out strongly and condemn the killings, and make an official visit to Nigeria with special rapporteurs with relevant mandates to discuss the killings and concrete actions to end the killings and ultimately bring about significant improvement in the lives of farmers and their families as well as other citizens affected by violence across the country.” Meanwhile, the Police, through the Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, in charge of Operations, Mr. Habila Joshak, has promised that the force in collaboration with the military would fish out the masterminds of the attacks and bring them to Justice. “The Police and the military have agreed that there would be no recurrence of the crisis and killings and all those fingered in the killings would be arrested. So, the search for the masterminds of the killings has started. Already, we have increased the manpower of the Benue command and I can assure you that in no distant time, all those fingered in the killings will be arrested. If it is established that anyone of those being mentioned as being responsible for the killings is truly involved, we will have him arrested without delay,” he said. Cabal blocking communications with Buhari — Gov Ortom According to Governor Ortom, some people around the president have been deliberately frustrating the attempt by the state government to present the true picture of what is happening in the state for selfish reasons. His words: “Let me be frank. The Federal Government has not done enough. When this incidence started with the threat from the president and secretary of Miyetti Allah, Kauta Hore, who addressed a press conference and issued threats that they will do everything possible to frustrate the Benue State Government from implementing the anti-open grazing law, we quickly drew the attention of the Inspector General of Police, the Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, and even the office of the National Security Adviser. ‘’The leadership of Miyetti Allah called the law names; that it was draconian and had no place in the 21st century. We saw that as a threat to our existence and in June 2016, we reported to the then acting president (Prof. Yemi Osinbajo) and to our surprise, these people were not apprehended. “When they saw that no one was going to apprehend them, they went further to issue more threats. In October 2016, we reminded the IGP, the DSS and the NSA of the potential violence that we faced in Benue State as a result of the threat from the Miyetti Allah. We, specifically, demanded that the two officers of the Miyetti Allah, the secretary and the president, be arrested, but unfortunately, they were not arrested. I do not know why the Federal Government has abandoned us. If they had acted that time, we would not have gotten to where we are today.” It’s going beyond my powers — Ortom The governor warned that though he has consistently told the people of the state not to take the law into their hands, he is losing control of the people because of the persistent killing of innocent women and children by Fulani herdsmen and the inaction of the federal government. He continued: “You can see that it is getting beyond me. Even when there was protest against the recent killings in Makurdi, and I went there, there was massive resistance. It became violent and it is even God that saved us. I would have been attacked. “When I came into office, there was proliferation of arms and ammunition in the state. I declared an amnesty programme that saw massive retrieval of arms from our youths. I pleaded with them that the way to develop is not by taking the laws into their hands but by obeying the laws. I have resisted the temptation to say that our people should protect themselves because I trusted the president. I believed that he has the capacity to protect us. But from what is happening, I am sure some people around him are frustrating our communication with him and the actions to be taken. Otherwise, the president I know will not allow this kind of thing to be happening. We have not committed any offence. “We have no regret passing the anti-open grazing law. The law came as a necessity because of the killings in Benue State by the herdsmen. We sought peaceful ways of resolving the matter but we could not. We tried everything under the sun to ensure that we stopped these killings but it was not possible so we prayed and God gave us wisdom to enact that law, which gives protection to the farmers and the herdsmen. We have not sent cattle rearers away from Benue, we are simply saying there are modern ways of rearing cattle, which is to ranch them. With that, farmers can go their legitimate ways of doing their business and those who are rearing cattle can also continue. I am surprised at the resistance of the herders.” ‘I can’t preside over dead people, campaigns suspended’ Asked if the recent killings had made the job of campaigning for an APC presidency more difficult, the governor reiterated that he has suspended all political activities until the killing of innocent people in the state is stopped. “I have suspended everything about campaigns and all that, even for myself. Yes, I am contesting in 2019 but I don’t want to be campaigning for now. I cannot campaign for myself or any other person until this matter is resolved. I cannot preside as governor over dead people. The lives of my people come first before politics. In fact, I have decided that I am not going to engage in any political activity, whether for myself or for anybody until this matter is resolved. I cannot be talking about 2019 when my people are being killed. If I win, will I preside over dead bodies? If that will make other people to take the governorship from me, so be it. I must not be governor,” he said. Don’t politicize herdsmen killings, Osinbajo warns Nigerians Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, warned Nigerians against politicizing herdsmen killings across the country in recent times, saying such interpretation could inflame passion from certain quarters thus causing unpredicted crisis in the country. Osinbajo, who said his warning was against the backdrop of rise in Boko Haram activities, following politicization of the insurgents at the early stage, asked Nigerians to be wary and not make similar mistake. He spoke during an inter-denominational church service for the 2018 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. SERAP to UN: Speak out, hold special session The SERAP, in an urgent appeal dated January 6, 2018 by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, said: “The UN Human Rights Council’s ability to successfully expose and hold perpetrators of human rights violations to account may be under threat if your office continues to ignore or pay little attention to the crimes and abuses apparently by herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators in Nigeria. “While we acknowledge that the council has made significant contributions to human rights elsewhere, we are concerned that the violence and killings in Nigeria rarely attract the attention of the UN and particularly, your office. It is time for your office to speak out strongly against the continuing killings by herdsmen in Nigeria for the sake of thousands of victims and their families who continue to lack access to an effective remedy, including truth, justice and full and effective reparation.” Suspected herdsmen, yesterday, killed at least 11 persons in a fresh attack on Tombu village in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State. This followed the alleged killing earlier in the week of at least 33 people by herdsmen in the state. The urgent appeal read in part: “The killings in Benue State and the distressing situation of farmers and their families paint a stark picture of the grave abuses carried out by herdsmen and the impunity that they continue to enjoy. The actions of herdsmen hinder meaningful progress towards stability, development and peace in the country.” NBA slams President Buhari Also, the Chairman of Makurdi branch of the NBA, Mr. Emmanuel Agbakor, while addressing journalists in Makurdi on the issue, said: “The NBA is totally disappointed, disenchanted and absolutely disillusioned at the display of apathy by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, with respect to the wanton, reckless and unwarranted killings. “We condemn, in strong terms, the recurring invasion of the state by herdsmen and the concomitant nonchalant cum indifferent posture of the Federal Government concerning the problem. We overwhelmingly voted the President into power as Nigeria’s President but he has dramatically become ethnic and does not see anything wrong with what his kinsmen, the Fulani, are doing in different parts of the country, including Benue State. This is totally unacceptable. A government which is incapable of defending her people is simply, to say the least, not worth its salt.’’ We ‘ll soon start raining curses on leaders – Cleric A Catholic cleric, Rev. Fr. Kwaggas Matthew, said, yesterday, in Abuja that Nigerians, especially Christians, will soon start raining curses on leaders, who have abandoned their primary responsibility of protecting the lives of the citizens. The Borno State born cleric and Parish Priest of Church of the Annunciation Parish, Kubwa, Abuja, in his homily at the Feast of Epiphany, noted with dismay the killings and destruction of property by the Fulani herdsmen while the government that swore to protect the lives and property of Nigerians remained silent. He wondered how the herdsmen allegedly killing people got the sophisticated guns they always use in their dastardly act and charged Nigerians to start protecting themselves, if the government failed to protect them. Recollecting the number of lives lost in Agatu, Guma and Logo of Benue State, Kaduna, Plateau, Adamawa, Enugu, Taraba, Borno and other parts of the country as a result of herdsmen onslaught on the people, he said, “We will soon start raining curses on the leaders, who are not helping us. How did the herdsmen killing people get the guns?’

Read more at:



The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court mourns the passing away of a committee member, Mrs. Oby Nwankwo. She was until her death, an active and very supportive human rights activist who was in the forefront of the campaign for the respect of women’s rights, gender equality and good governance.

She was the founder and executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre. (CIRDDOC), a member of the ICC Gender Justice Team and an advisory board member of Global Fund for Women.

Oby Nwankwo was a globally recognized champion for human rights and women’s empowerment in Nigeria having served as a member of the UN CEDAW Expert Committee for a four year term in January 2013 and subsequently reelected for another four year term in 2016

She played an indispensible role in the campaign for the domestication of CEDAW and the AU protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa by the National and state Assemblies and the passage of the Child Rights Law in the various states in the country.

Oby was an extra ordinary activist who displayed energy and passion towards the fight for gender equality. The pioneer role she played in coordinating the National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) was an independent and Civil Society voice which saw to an effective strategy that led to an increased number of women in governance.

Her passion and commitment have moved countless people to take action to improve their communities. We will miss her great shining smile and her indomitable spirit but all those she has inspired will keep her vision alive through each small action we take toward a better world.


Her legacy will always remain with us. The deep sympathy of the NCICC is hereby conveyed to her  family, close friends and colleagues.
















With Gratitude to God for a life well spent, the Board, Management and Staff of the Civil
Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) Nigeria announce the
passing away to eternal glory of Our Distinguished Executive Director, a daughter, sister,
mother, friend and great mentor, Mrs. Oby Nwankwo (Chief Magistrate rtd) on December 9,
2017 in Maryland, U S A.
Oby Nwankwo was a lawyer of over 30 years post call experience in litigation, judicial duties
and development work. She obtained her LL.B (Bachelor of Laws) with Honours from
University of Nigeria in 1979 and subsequently obtained her LL.M (Master of Laws) Degree
at University of Nigeria in 1992.
She served as a Chief Magistrate in the Anambra State Judiciary for 23 years. Since her
voluntary retirement from the judiciary in 2004, she was in the forefront of the campaign for
respect for women’s rights, gender equality and good governance. She was a gender expert/
advocate, a human rights activist, an election monitor, a community mobiliser, an
independent development consultant and a trainer/Facilitator.
Oby was the founder and Executive Director of the Civil Resource Development and
Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), an NGO with offices in Abuja, Enugu, Anambra and
Ebonyi states. Oby led CIRDDOC to work extensively in the following states of Nigeria:
Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Abia, Bayelsa, Kano,
Kaduna, Borno, Plateau, Lagos and Abuja; and has trained Community Information Officers,
Civic Educators and paralegals who provide human rights, civic education and legal services
in most of these states.
She represented Africa on the screening Committee of the Coalition for the International
Criminal Court (ICC); she was also a member of the ICC Gender Justice Team and Advisory
Board member of Global Fund for Women among other agencies.
She served as Chairperson of the Civil Society Coordinating Committee on Election Reform
(CSCC), an umbrella organization for all civil society organizations engaging the
constitutional and electoral reform processes in Nigeria.
She was the pioneer Coordinator of National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA), a
network of Civil Society Organization committed to the adoption of affirmative action as an
effective strategy for increasing the number of women in governance. She was a member of
the Monitoring and Evaluation Network of Nigeria (MENN) and the Nigerian Bar
Association. Oby Nwankwo presented numerous speeches at National and International fora
and published several papers. She had extensive experience in gender based violence, gender
analysis, gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation.
On the platform of CIRDDOC, she represented Africa in the Steering Committee of the
Coalition for the International Criminal Court (ICC), a member of the ICC Gender Justice
Team and Advisory Board member of Global Fund for Women among others. She led the
team that prepared the Women’s memorandum to the Uwais Committee on Electoral Reform
and the Senate Committee on Constitutional Reform.
Oby led in the campaign for the domestication of CEDAW and the AU Protocol on the Rights
of Women in Africa by the National and State Assemblies and the passage of the Child’s
Rights Law in the States. She was a member of the National Committee of the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) Stakeholders’ Forum.
Oby Nwankwo was elected as a member of the UN CEDAW Expert Committee for a 4-year
term in January 2013 and was re-elected for another 4 year term in 2016.
Oby’s resume is extensive and she was an expert in women’s rights and attended many
courses in law, gender, human rights, women’s rights. She received numerous awards;
however, her biggest accomplishment was raising her seven beautiful and accomplished
children after losing her husband, Engr Victor Nwankwo, in 2002. Oby may have left the
physical world today, but her selfless life of service to humanity not only remains etched in
our memories, but also keeps us striving to do more and more for our great organization in
order to keep her vision alive – through service.
May God, in His Bounty, keep her in His lasting residence, where neither toil nor sense of
weariness shall touch her – Amen.


NYACL Calls on International Community to Act on Libya…

As the wave of slavery in Libya takes center stage around the World, many governments and non-government organizations are calling on the international community to quickly intervene in order to bring the inhumane behavior to an end.

One of the many organizations in such venture is the National Youth Action Committee in Liberia (NYACL) led by the Organization for and Women and Children (ORWOCH).

Addressing the media Thursday, the Executive Director for ORWOCH Mmonbaydo Joah Harrell termed the torture of Liberians and other black Africans in Libya as evil and wicked.

Harrell said: “The NYACL calls on the Government of Liberia and all international bodies including ECOWAS, the AU and UN to swiftly intervene and bring this persecution of mainly black Africans to an end in the wake of disturbing videos and other media reports emanating from Libya.”

Libya is a member of the United Nation. In that, the Executive Director for ORWOCH said the heinous crimes committed by individuals in Libya is in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles Article 5 9 and 13.

She added: “No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. These barbaric acts also contravenes the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punish to which Libya is a signatory.”

According to the rights group, majority of the people whom the brutalities acts are perpetrated against are women and young people.

The rights group wants more effort in dealing with the perpetrators of the heinous crimes, adding that they should be held accountable for their action.

Harrell: “We will engage in advocacy, mobilize resources and remain engaged with all partners in ensuring that these crimes are uncovered and that perpetrators are punished”.

Harrell said they are setting up a committee that will identify survivors and victims’ in Liberia and Libya, collect written testimonies, present petitions to the government of Liberia and other international bodies and ensure that justice is sought for these victims at the appropriate international judicial forum.

She says despite the emergence of these disturbing videos, the group wonders why national actors including the Government of Liberia continues to remain silent while black African young people, especially young women including the Liberian citizens continue to languish and perish in Libya.

“NYACL calls on survivors of torture and sexual violence from Libya currently in Liberia to utilize these 16 days of activism against violence to come forward with stories of torture or violence against their person to ensure the prosecution of the perpetration as the NYACL will spare no efforts in ensuring that this matter is brought to the attention of the International Criminal Court,” she said.


Harry Roque Faces ICC, Defends Duterte government

The human rights issue is being politicized and there is no reason for the International Criminal Court to take jurisdiction over any complaint on alleged human rights violations related to President Duterte’s war on drugs, his spokesman has told the ICC.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque appealed to the ICC to adhere to its own rules and focus on the trial of leaders accused of human rights violations.

Instead of addressing human rights concerns raised against Duterte, Roque warned the ICC against being misled by critics who wanted the President charged before the international tribunal.

“Mr. President, we urge the Court to resist attempts by some sectors to treat the Court as a venue to pursue political agenda to destabilize governments and undermine legitimate national authorities,” Roque said during the general debate of the 16th Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC held at the UN last Thursday.

“It is indeed actions like these that politicize and dilute the Court’s mandate, which ultimately undermine national efforts to punish and prosecute crimes covered by the Statute and derail current efforts to achieve universality of the Rome Statute,” Roque said.

“We trust that the Court’s exercise of its mandate will respect national processes geared towards exacting criminal accountability for conduct committed within our territory,” he said.

he group Human Rights Watch said the Duterte administration has made no genuine effort to seek accountability for drug war abuses.

Param-Preet Singh of Human Rights Watch said there have been no successful prosecutions or convictions of police implicated in summary killings despite compelling evidence.

Withdraw from ICC

Roque insinuated a possible withdrawal of the Philippines from the ICC and the Rome Statute.

“A violation of the very basis for our consent – which is complementarity – will constrain us to reassess our continuing commitment to the Court and the Rome Statute,” he said.

Roque earlier talked about the Philippines’ anchored consent to be bound by the Rome Statute on the principle of complementarity.

He cited the significance of complementarity and of collective efforts to develop an effective and fair international criminal system.

The Philippine government made the stand months after self-confessed hit man Edgar Matobato accused Duterte of being involved in extrajudicial killings when he was still mayor of Davao City.

Duterte is also facing global criticism over the thousands killed in his flagship campaign against illegal drugs.

Roque said the Philippines echoes the ICC’s shared sovereign goals of peace and security, and the importance of criminal accountability for the serious crimes of concern to the international community.

“It recognizes that effective prosecution must be ensured at the national level and enhanced by international cooperation,” Roque said.

Roque pointed out the ICC is envisioned to have complementary, not primary, jurisdiction for the prosecution of persons most responsible for the four international crimes under the Rome Statute.

“The Rome Statute requires the Court and other bodies to respect and defer to the primary criminal jurisdiction of such State Party, unless it can be shown that the state party is unwilling or unable to investigate and prosecute such crimes,” he said.

Roque said the Philippines supports the activation of the ICC’s jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as another step toward the fulfillment of the promise, not only of the Rome Statute, but also of the UN Charter on the prohibition on the use of force.

“This position is consistent with the policy expressly provide in Article II of our Constitution that the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy,” he said.

In his three-page statement, Roque also said the Philippine government affirms its commitment to the Rome Statute and the ICC. “We are also reminded that the Court is a court of last resort,” he said.

Duterte, who has been criticized for numerous deaths related to the administration’s drug campaign, had repeatedly defended his acts by invoking the need to implement the rule of law and “preserve the youth of this country.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives have respectively conducted their independent probes but there are no findings yet on the use of force or violence or any state-sponsored killings.

There were also attempts to file charges against the President before the Office of the Ombudsman.

Roque also used the Marawi siege to remind the ICC about the “intimate and indisputable link between terrorism and the illegal drug trade.”

“The primary objective of the Rome Statute to complement national efforts in criminal justice and social reconciliation must not be minimized or set aside,” Roque said.

Human Rights Watch agreed with Roque that under the ICC’s statute, the court may only step in when national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so.

“Yet his (Roque) assertion that the Philippine government has been willing and able to investigate those deaths has simply not been true,” Singh said.

Singh said the government’s claims of its preparedness to prosecute offenders are grotesquely deceptive in the face of this grim reality



ASP DAY 5;International Justice Policy – Not Resources

Day five began with the consideration of the ICC’s 2018 programme budget request. Before ICC member states take negotiations on the budget behind closed doors in week two of ASP16, the Court’s Registrar Mr. Herman von Hebel presented the 2018 request based on the respective needs of the various ICC organs. The Chair of the ASP’s Committee on Budget and Finance (CBF), Mr. Hitoshi Kozaki (Japan), followed the Registrar with the CBF’s recommendations to the ICC member states in considering the Court’s request.

The Registrar acknowledged that the ICC is a publicly-funded institution – by member states – and that the Court should be accountable for its resource use and the quality of its justice proceedings. However, he also noted that the Court itself has initiatives underway to maximize its limited resources while tackling an ever-increasing workload, including in relation to witness protection costs and maintenance of the independence and integrity of proceedings.

As a number of NGOs, including Human Rights Watch and the Ivorian Coalition for the ICC, highlighted in their General Debate statements on day five, the ICC has significant outstanding resource needs that do not seem to be adequately taken into account in ASP budget negotiations, and that investing in justice today will mean savings tomorrow in terms of global peace and development costs. And as the Burundian Coalition for the ICC pointed out, the stakes are immediate, underlining the need for ICC member states to honor their cooperation commitments, including with respect to resources, to the new ICC investigation in Burundi.

Later in the day, states gathered for the first informal consultations on the ASP’s 2017 Strengthening the ICC and the ASP resolution – otherwise known as the ‘omnibus’ resolution. Multiple consultations have taken place since the beginning of October 2017 to discuss numerous text proposals put forward by states relating to universality, cooperation, Secretariat of the ASP, legal aid, victims, and participation in the ASP among others.

An issue of particular concern this year in omnibus consultations has been the use of the language “within existing resources” – language that threatens to reaffirm zero growth policy on ICC resources and would prove detrimental to a number of ongoing initiatives within the Court to improve its efficacy in the delivery of international justice. One such initiative many have their eyes on, in particular NGOs within the framework of the Victims’ Rights Working Group, is the Court’s ongoing review of its legal aid policy.



ASP DAY 5: NGO’S Enter The Fray TO Speak…

The General Debate resumed and concluded on Friday, with civil society taking the floor after the remainder of ICC member states, observer states, international organizations, and representatives of the legal profession (International Criminal Court Bar Association) delivered their statements.

Among remaining member states to speak were Nigeria, which noted that the ICC is becoming an increasingly relevant global institution for peace and development; and Tunisia, one of three member states from the Middle East-North Africa region, which called international justice “a vehicle to lasting peace.”

Observer states Ukraine, China, Iran, and the United States (US) also made statements before the Assembly. The representative from Ukraine, which is not yet a member state but has accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC over the situation in its territory, noted that the state is working to remove legal obstacles to ratification and implementation of the Rome Statute. Ukraine additionally declared support for activation of the Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression as well as proposed war crimes amendments.

The US, meanwhile, rejected any exercise of jurisdiction over US personnel absent the government’s consent or a UN Security Council referral, including in any potential investigation into US troop conduct in Afghanistan, among other alleged crimes.

Civil society took the floor at the end of the General Debate. The Coalition’s Convenor, Mr. William Pace, opened the civil society segment by insisting that the ICC is one of very few alternatives capable of filling gaps that the Security Council has left in global peace and security, and reminding that states must be proactive rather than reactive.

Both the Burundian Coalition for the ICC, which later presented its views during a dedicated side event, and Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) underlined the significance of the ICC for upholding human rights and rule of law in domestic jurisdictions. KPTJ called for the South African government to revisit its decision to pursue withdrawal from the Rome Statute, while adding that “Burundi may have left, but the door for its return is not shut.”

Other NGOs to speak during the General Debate were International Federation for Human Rights together with Al-Haq; Human Rights Watch; the American Bar Association; and the Moroccan, Nigerian, and Ivorian national Coalitions for the ICC.



Britain Replaces UN Ambassador, following ICJ Defeat

Britain today appointed Karen Pierce as its new Ambassador to the UN, replacing incumbent Matthew Rycroft under whom it suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of India in the recent election to the International Court
of Justice.

Pierce is the first woman appointed to this role, and is uniquely suited for
the position having previously served as Deputy Permanent Representative to the
UN in New York, and more recently as the Permanent Representative to the UN in
Geneva, the UK said in a statement.

Britain’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations did not give any reason for appointing Pierce
as new ambassador to the world body, which comes days after it failed to get its
judge Christopher Greenwood elected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) after India’s Judge Dalveer Bhandari consistently.

received nearly two-third of the votes in the UN General Assembly.
Bhandari was on Tuesday re-elected to the ICJ as the UN General Assembly
overwhelmingly threw its weight behind him, forcing Britain to withdraw its
candidate from the hard-fought race to the world court.

This is for the first time in 70 years that Britain would have no judge in
the 15-member panel of the ICJ.

Political analysts and editorials in British media have described it as a
diplomatic failure of the Theresa May government.

“Britain has a proud history of working for positive change through the
United Nations, not least in addressing the problems in Libya and Syria,”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement without addressing
the reason for sudden replacement of Rycroft.

Rycroft has been in the post since 2015 and will handover in January 2018

when he returns to London to take up his new role as Permanent Secretary at
the Department for International Development.

“I know Karen has the diplomatic skills, energy and patience to continue this
vital work, and I congratulate her on her appointment,” Johnson said.

In a statement, Pierce said the UK had long been a strong supporter of the UN
and its role at the heart of the global rules-based international system at a
time when it is coming under challenge.

Britain has a proud history of working for positive change through the United
Nations, not least in addressing the problems in Libya and Syria,” British
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement without addressing the
reason for sudden replacement of Rycroft.

Rycroft has been in the post since 2015 and will handover in January 2018
when he returns to London to take up his new role as Permanent Secretary at the
Department for International Development.

“I know Karen has the diplomatic skills, energy and patience to continue this
vital work, and I congratulate her on her appointment,” Johnson said.

In a statement, Pierce said the UK had long been a strong supporter of the UN
and its role at the heart of the global rules-based international system at a
time when it is coming under challenge.

“Through our role as a permanent member of the Security Council and position
as the UN’s third largest donor, the UK will conti ..

Read more at:


Nigerian Army Frees 387 Cameroonians from Boko Haram

The Nigerian army has freed 387 Cameroonians who were captured last year by Boko Haram militants, Cameroonian officials said Friday.

Midjiyawa Bakari, the governor of the Far North Region in Cameroon, told Anadolu Agency that the recovered civilians are in Cameroon’s Mozogo town where the Red Cross and government officials are taking care of them.

Bakari said the former hostages will return to their respective families in the coming days.

“Nigerian troops used helicopters to bomb the hiding place of these terrorists forcing them to flee leaving the hostages behind,” Gen. Bouba Dobekreo, commander of the joint military operation said.

Idrissa Adama, one of the freed captives, said he was abducted when he went to water from a well, last year.

“Boko Haram members made us walk for long distances in the bush… I was responsible for cooking for them,” he said.

The militant group has perpetrated many attacks including suicide bombing and kidnappings in Cameroon’s Far North region in recent months.

At least 381 civilians have been killed by Boko Haram attacks since April in Cameroon and Nigeria amid a spike in suicide bombings, according to Amnesty International.

Boko Haram attacks have killed nearly 2,500 Cameroonians between 2014 and 2017, according to Cameroon’s Defense Ministry.

The UN Refugee Agency estimates approximately 26 million people in the Lake Chad region have been affected by the Boko Haram violence, and more than 2.6 million displaced.