The Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) sends our warmest congratulations to Judge Chile Eboe Osuji on his election as the President of the International Criminal Court. (ICC) He was elected during a plenary siting of Judges of the ICC on the 11th of March 2018. His tenure is to last for three years.
The International Criminal Court remains the last resort for victims of international crimes and the Presidency being the arm that oversees the registry and organizes the work of judicial decisions, plays an indispensable role in that regard.
The NCICC calls on the newly elected President to expand his leadership role and work closely with the Nigerian government in ensuring that perpetrators of the most heinous crimes are brought to book and reparations for victims highly considered. Nigeria was listed to be on phase 3 of the preliminary investigation stage by the Office of the trial Prosecutor in her annual report in December 2017 having identified eight potential cases involving commission of Crimes against humanity and genocide in 2015.
The NCICC also urges President Eboe-Osuji to give priority to improving the relationship between African governments and people with the Court, in particular, reaching out to the African Union and individual African State Parties. The Court should increase its outreach and communications with the African civil society organisations, victims communities and the African population in order to disseminate the good work of the Court in Africa.
In particular, the Court should dialogue constructively and frankly with the African Union towards opening a liaison office in Addis Ababa, and supporting the African governments in their national efforts to improve the justice system to fight impunity.
The Court should also consider constructive discussions on the proposed initiative to create the criminal chamber of the forthcoming African Court of Justice and Human Rights, represented in the Malabo Protocol, as well as special judicial proceedings of the African Union in order to deepen the complementarity obligations under the Rome Statute of the ICC.
NCICC draws attention of the President to the new Network for Civil Society on International Justice in Africa, made up of national coalitions on the ICC and civil society coalitions in 52 African countries, who are working to promote justice and fight impunity in Africa. This network provides platform for constructive outreach to African people, and for raising civil society support for the Court in Africa.
Finally, we urge the President to open the Forum of African Group in the Assembly of State Parties in order to improve closer relationship and understanding between African governments and the ICC’
We wish the President a very successful tenure and will always be available for support.
Dr Abiola Akiode-Afolabi
The newly elected president of the assembly of state parties, O-Gon Kwon, has called on state parties of the Rome statute to step up providing assistance to survivors of war.
“State parties should guarantee the rights and needs of victim survivors are provided,” he said during a press conference held at Sheraton Hotel on Thursday.
Kwon, who became president in December 2017, noted that though the Trust Fund for Victims (TFV) is doing a tremendous job in Northern Uganda, there i he s still a big funding gap that needs to be filled. he states that will do his utmost to promote the important work of the Trust Fund for Victims and the need for sufficient funding to carry out its mandate.
The press conference was organised to give an update on the findings of an evaluation visit to northern Uganda by the ICC state parties, to monitor the progress of the implementation of TFV.
Judge O-Gon Kwan the president of the Assembly of States Parties to the International Criminal Court with a delegation from the Trust Fund For Victims visiting a workshop where artificial limbs are made, at Gulu Referral Hospital. (Credit: Godfrey Kimono)
The implementation of the TFV started in 2008 in northern Uganda and according to Peiter de Baan, its executive director, more than 45,000 people have benefitted directly and about 200,000 people indirectly.
The visit to northern Uganda was also in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Rome Statute. The joint visit was made by Kwon, representatives from the government of Canada, Chile, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, UK and European union.
Mama Koite Doumbia, a TFV board member, noted that the central importance of the Rome Statute is to provide the rights and the needs of victims, including the right to receive reparations and assistance they need.
“Any harm caused by war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide is significant and must be addressed,” she said.
Mirjam Blaak, Uganda’s ambassador to the Netherlands noted that TFV has made a significant progress in providing assistance to the victims.
“The government of Uganda commits to continue its support to the TFV in assisting many more victims, their families and local partners, to sustain a lasting impact in the country,” she said.
On Friday last week, Kenya’s Court of Appeal delivered judgment in the appeal filed by the government, in the case that ICJ Kenya obtained a provisional arrest warrant against President Al Bashir of Sudan in 2011,
The Court set aside the Provisional arrest warrant issued by the High Court, explaining that at the time it was issued (in November 2011), there was no urgency, as the meeting which Bashir was expected to attend in November 2010, and which the warrant was predicated upon, had already passed and was instead held to Ethiopia. The Court observed that the International Crimes Act is clear that a provisional arrest warrant will only be issued in urgent situations. (Judgment attached)
Une cour suprême fédérale siégeant dans le cantonnement de Wawa, à Kainji dans l’état de Niger au Nigéria, a condamné un membre de Boko Haram appelé Haruna Yahaya âgé de 35 ans le mardi, 13 février, à 15 ans d’emprisonnement pour le terrorisme.
Le détenu, qui a participé à l’enlèvement de plus de 200 écolières à Chibok dans l’état de Borno, en 2014, avait le bras et la jambe gauche mutilés.
Il aurait participé aux attaques du groupe à Chibok et dans la ville de Gabsuri.
Yahaya avait plaidé coupable le lundi aux deux chefs d’accusation retenus contre lui par le Gouvernement Fédéral mais a plaidé pour la clémence, affirmant qu’il avait été enrôlé de force dans le groupe terroriste.
Mais le juge qui a siégé dans l’un des quatre tribunaux spéciaux mis en place par la Cour Suprême Fédérale pour accélérer le procès de plus de 1000 suspects a déclaré que le tribunal n’était « pas dupe » par l’histoire de Yahaya.
Le tribunal a déclaré que le détenu était en train de «utiliser le malheur de son handicap pour attirer la sympathie ».
Le juge a statué que la condamnation de 15 ans prononcée contre le détenu, qui était en détention depuis 2015, commencerait lundi.
The Nigerian Attorney General Alhaji Abubakar Malami has commenced this week, the trial of the second batch of the 1000 persons suspected to be boko haram members. Most have been in pre-trial detention for up to 5 years.
In a remarkable change of strategy, the trials are open to selected civil society organizations including the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) and the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC). Reports from the NCICC observers showed that all the four trial courts sitting in Niger State are committed to conclude assigned cases by next week.
Nearly 100 suspects tried in the first batch in October 2017 were discharged for absence of evidence and CSO’s observing the second batch this week reports the repealed lack of evidence against the charged suspects.
Un commandant libyen recherché par la Cour pénale Internationale sous l’inculpation de crimes de guerre a annoncé qu’il s’est livré aux forces alliées de l’homme fort Khalifa Haftar.
Mahmoud al-Werfalli, le commandant de la brigade Al-Saiqa de Benghazi, fidèle à Haftar, fait l’objet d’un mandat d’arrêt pour les six derniers mois pour les exécutions de sang-froid d’au moins 33 personnes en 2016 et 2017.
Les demandes pour la persécution de Werfalli ont augmenté depuis qu’il a été accusé d’avoir tué personnellement une douzaine de prisonniers djihadistes le mois dernier sur la scène d’un attentat à la bombe meurtrier dans une mosquée à Benghazi, la deuxième ville de Libye.
Dans une vidéo publié sur Facebook mardi soir à mercredi, le commandant a annoncé “Je me rends à la police militaire” sous le commandement de Haftar, dont ses forces dominent l’est du pays.
Cette revendication n’a pas pu être vérifiée.
Dans la vidéo, Werfalli a insisté sur son “innocence” et a justifié les exécutions comme “une condamnation” contre les “tueurs” djihadistes.
Ce n’est pas la première fois que Werfalli serait détenu par les forces de Haftar.
Lorsque son mandat d’arrêt a été émis en août 2017, les forces de Haftar ont insisté sur le fait qu’il était sous leur garde et qu’il ferait face à un procès militaire.
Après les derniers signalé massacres à Benghazi, les Nations Unies ont réitéré à la fin de janvier leur demande pour “la livraison immédiate de Mahmoud al-Werfalli à la CPI à La Haye”
L’ONU a déclaré qu’il avait documenté “au moins cinq cas similaires, en 2017, exécutés ou commandés par Werfalli”.
La Libye était plongée dans le chaos et la violence depuis que le dictateur de longtemps Moamar Kadhafi a été chassé du pouvoir et tué dans un soulèvement appuyé par l’OTAN en 2011.
Un gouvernement d’unité soutenu par l’ONU basé dans la capitale Tripoli a lutté pour affirmer son autorité à l’extérieur de l’ouest de la Libye. Haftar soutien une administration rivale basée à l’est.
Les Nation Unis tentent actuellement de négocier la fin à la présente agitation politique en acceptant des élections parlementaires et présidentielles plus tard cette année, mais il y a une profonde incertitude si elles auront lieu.
Source; NCICC ANGLAIS VERSION
A Borno senator, Ali Ndume, has commended the federal government and the International Committee on Red Cross, ICRC, for the release of 13 abducted persons by Boko Haram.
The presidency on Saturday announced the release of the three geologists and 10 other women who were abducted by Boko Haram fighters in July 2017.
The victims were released after negotiations between the government and the terror group with the involvement of the Red Cross.
The ten female abductees, including police officers, are indigenes of Askira Uba Local Government Area in the southern part of Borno State where Mr. Ndume represents.
The 13 abductees regained their freedom three days after the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, in a YouTube video bragged that despite the attacks by the Nigeria military and the claims of rescuing captives from Sambisa forest, he still has the 10 women in his custody.
Mr. Ndume in a statement stated that the release of the 13 abductees has rekindled his people’s hope on the rescue of the remaining Chibok school girls and other persons in Boko Haram captivity.
“This news has not only gladdened our hearts but has also renewed our hope that other abducted persons, including the remaining Chibok schoolgirls who are still in captivity would, in due course, regain their freedom by the grace of God.
“I specifically commend the leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari for keeping faith with his promise of ensuring that all abducted persons, especially the Chibok schoolgirls, will be released.
A Federal High Court sitting in Wawa cantonment Kainji Niger state on Tuesday the 13th of February sentenced a 35-year-old member of Boko Haram, Haruna Yahaya, to 15 years imprisonment on terrorism offences.
The convict, who participated in the abduction of over 200 Schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno, in 2014 had his left arm and leg crippled.
He was said to have participated in the group’s attacks in Chibok and Gabsuri town.
Yahaya had on Monday pleaded guilty to the two-count preferred against him by the Federal Government but pleaded for mercy, saying he was forcibly conscripted into the terror group.
But the judge who sat in one of the four special courts established by the Federal High Court to fast-track the trial of over 1,000 suspects said the court was “not fooled” by Yahaya’s story.
The court said the convict was “using the misfortune of his handicap to draw sympathy.”
The judge ruled that the 15-year sentence passed on the convict, who had been in detention since 2015, would commence starting Monday.
Cameroonian soldiers have joined forces with the Nigerian troops in Borno to combat Boko Haram terrrorist in the North-eastern part of Nigeria.
This development occurred after military authorities from the two countries met on Monday to join efforts in tackling Boko Haram insurgents whose activities have posed a major threat to the countries.
A statement on Monday from spokesman of Operation Lafiya Dole, Onyema Nwachukwu, a colonel, said the Cameroonian troops, whose number was not specified came with their arms and ammunitions.
The theatre commander at the military command and control centre, known as Operation Lafiya Dole, Rogers Nicholas, a major general, officiated at the induction of the Cameroonian troops after they arrived Gwoza town of Borno State.
Welcoming the troops into the theatre of operation, the Theatre Commander charged them to exhibit discipline and professionalism in the discharge of their assigned tasks and duties. He urged them to be courageous and display aggression towards the insurgents during operations.
“Major General Nicholas also admonished the troops to be obedient to instructions from their commander’s, adding that their compliance with these instructions will facilitate the decisive defeat of the insurgents sooner than expected.
“The Theatre Commander was accompanied by the leader of the Cameroonian Defence Forces delegation Brigadier General Djonkeb Frederick, the General Officer Commanding 7 Division Major General Ibrahim Yusuf, the Chief of Staff Headquarters, Theatre Command, Brigadier General IL Akinlawon and other senior military officers from both countries.
Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry issued a “firm and categorical rejection” this Thursday following declarations from the International Criminal Court (ICC) that it will be opening a “preliminary investigation” into police abuses from April 2017 onwards. It did however assure its “complete contribution” to the preliminary investigation so as to clear its name.
The ICC’s decision was announced by Gambian Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, also nicknamed the “Tyrant-hunter”. Recently, Venezuela’s ex-Attorney General, Luisa Ortega Diaz, who is being hunted by Interpol on corruption charges, submitted documents to the ICC alleging against the Venezuelan State.
Venezuela’s Foreign Office issued a communique which cast the ICC preliminary investigation in doubt, explaining that “the figure of preliminary investigation is non-existent in the Rome Statutes (the founding constitution of the ICC)” to which Venezuela “reiterates its commitment to”.
The Foreign Office announcement assured the international community that Venezuela “is a democratic, social state based on human rights and justice”.
According to the press release, the Venezuelan state did not received any official approach from the ICC, but “surprisingly” found out about the “baseless accusations” through Bensouda’s written statement.
The ICC is defined as a “complementary” court, which is only able to open legal proceedings in cases in which national legal institutions fail to address them. Equally, as defined in the November 2013 Policy Paper, preliminary investigations “arise from the principal of complementariness. National jurisdictions have the primordial responsibility of ending impunity for the accused crimes”.
Following the ICC’s announcement, Venezuela’s Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, clarified that Venezuelan authorities have been, and are investigating and prosecuting the violent acts of 2017, deeming unnecessary and illegal any ICC intervention.
“The information which the ICC’s prosecutor has seems to be biased, she hasn’t had the opportunity to talk us to find out about the legal procedures we are carrying out regarding the violent acts which we saw in the country”.
The Attorney General’s office, he continued, “has documentation which shows that all of the cases have been attended by both the courts and the Ombudsman’s offices… we have meticulous reports about the imputations and accusations and we are willing to show her these”.
Despite such allegedly dubious bases for an ICC investigation or “preliminary investigation”, the Venezuelan government stated that “in the name of our international cooperation duties, (we) assure (the ICC) of our full contribution so that the mentioned deeds may be explained” so reads the communique from the Foreign Office.
Saab equally stated that “we are willing to supply relevant information to the Court to show that they hold no jurisdiction in this matter, in complete conformity with their constitution, our own laws, and international legislation”.
The ICC declaration, which also includes a “preliminary investigation” into the Philippines, proclaims that “following a careful, independent and impartial review of a number of communications and reports documenting alleged crimes potentially falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation”.
“The preliminary examination of the situation in Venezuela will analyse crimes allegedly committed in this State Party since at least April 2017, in the context of demonstrations and related political unrest” explained the ‘Tyrant-hunter’ prosecutor, who, according to Saab’s declarations, has failed to both inform the Venezuelan authorities of the procedures.
“In particular” she continues, “it has been alleged that State security forces frequently used excessive force to disperse and put down demonstrations, and arrested and detained thousands of actual or perceived members of the opposition, a number of whom would have been allegedly subjected to serious abuse and ill-treatment in detention. It has also been reported that some groups of protesters resorted to violent means, resulting in some members of security forces being injured or killed”.
April 2017 saw opposition extremists block roads, attack and burn alive dark skinned citizens deemed to be government supporters, shoot upon security forces, burn buildings (including schools, preschools, universities, and public transport units), and place a bomb in a major square in Caracas with the prime objective of halting upcoming elections. Over 130 died as a direct result of their actions, including numerous policemen, firemen, and other security personnel. The number of deaths indirectly caused by, particularly, road blockades which prevented ambulances and other vehicles from freely circulating, is in the thousands.