News

ICC President Asks State Parties to Provide for Victims…

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.

 

SOURCE: NEW Vision https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1471802/icc-president-parties-provide-victims-war

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Kenya Appeal Court Set Aside Judgement of Lower Court…

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)

 

Page 1-20 Judgement Civil Appeal 105 of 2012[3] copy Page 21-40 Judgement Civil Appeal 105 of 2012[2] copy Page 41-58 Judgement Civil Appeal 105 of 2012[2] copy

News

La Justice Pour Les Filles De Chibok Comme Un…


 

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.

News

Hundreds of Boko Haram Suspects Under Trial in Nigeria;…

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.

News

Un Commandant Libyen Se Denonce A La Cpi Pour…

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

News

Boko Haram: Senator Commends Nigerian Govt, Red Cross on…

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.

SOURCE; https://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nnorth-east/258249-boko-haram-senator-commends-nigerian-govt-red-cross-release-abducted-scientists-policewomen.html

News

Justice for Chibok Girls as One Abductor Jailed For…

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.

SOURCE; http://sunnewsonline.com/justice-for-chibok-girls-as-one-abductor-jailed-for-15-years/

News

Boko Haram: Cameroonian Army Joins Nigerian Troops In Borno…

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.

News

Venezuela Offers Full Cooperation To ICC ‘Inquisition’ by ‘Tyrant-Hunter’…

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.

SOURCE; https://venezuelanalysis.com/News/13653

News

Warlord’s Conviction in Central African Republic -a First Step…

On Jan. 22, a court in the Central African Republic convicted and sentenced a former warlord and leader of the anti-Balaka militia, Rodrigue Ngaibona, to life in prison. Human rights groups described it as a first in the war-torn nation and a “decisive first step” in delivering justice for crimes committed during the violence that has gripped the country for the past five years. In an email interview, Elise Keppler, the associate director of the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch, and Lewis Mudge, a senior researcher in the Africa Division at Human Rights Watch focusing on the Central African Republic, discuss the conviction, the state of the country’s fledgling Special Criminal Court and the level of political will to seek justice.

On the significance of the conviction of Ngaibona, and the capacity of CAR courts to prosecute, Elise Keppler and Lewis Muge stated that Andjilo  conviction by the Bangui Criminal Court marks an important moment for the Central African Republic, as he is the first person held accountable for crimes that were committed in the country after late 2012, when the predominantly Muslim Seleka rebel groups launched a campaign to overthrow the central government and plunged the country into violent conflict. Andjilo was found guilty of crimes that included murder, aggravated theft and the illegal possession of arms.

This case was never going to be easy for the Central African Republic’s judiciary. Many people in the country consider the anti-Balaka militia to have been their defenders during the period of violent civil strife, and they will be chagrined that a person they consider their own has been sentenced to life in prison while the Seleka still control vast swaths of territory with impunity. During the trial, there was legitimate concern for the safety of judges and the prosecutorial team. However, the national courts have demonstrated their willingness to face the risks by following through on the prosecution and conviction of Andjilo, providing victims in the country with hope that they will witness justice being done.

The case also demonstrates the challenges the judiciary must overcome, including getting a court up and running that could handle a trial of this magnitude. This was not an easy task. Andjilo was arrested by United Nations peacekeepers in January 2015, and holding someone in pretrial detention for three years is highly problematic.

They further stated that  in the past year, the Special Criminal Court has made important progress. The chief prosecutor and judges from the Central African Republic and abroad have now been appointed. While this seems like an obvious key step, it took time, especially given the context of ongoing violence and instability across the country, often in Bangui, the capital.

The court still continues to face challenges. Providing security for court staff, victims and potential witnesses is a major one. The anti-Balaka and Seleka groups continue to control large parts of the country outside Bangui, which could hamper investigations. The financial situation of the court is also challenging. The Special Criminal Court is dependent on voluntary contributions, and the lion’s share of its budget for the next five years is still without funding. Authorities from the Central African Republic need to underscore the importance of this court to their international partners, who should provide strong political and financial support for it to succeed.

Human Rights Watch has documented cases of sexual slavery and rape committed by men under Andjilo. There is a chance he could also be tried for other crimes once the Special Criminal Court gets up and running.

when asked how they would asses the current level of political will to pursue justice for grave crimes in the Central African Republic, and how it has been affected by persistent instability, Elise and Mudge affirmed that impunity has been central to the perpetuation of violence in the Central African Republic. Perpetrators of horrific crimes know they can get away with it. The government of former President Francois Bozize, who was overthrown by the Seleka, reflected this nonchalant attitude toward accountability as money for the judicial system constantly went missing. Since 2015, however, both the transitional and the current governments have affirmed their commitment to breaking the cycles of violence that plague the country and making accountability for serious crimes a priority.

A positive sign is that criminal cases have been heard in Bangui each year since 2015, covering at least some of the serious crimes committed in the country, such as murder, rape and assault. With the exception of the Andjilo case, however, none of these cases were tied to the recent conflict. The court sessions do not handle many cases, but to get them funded and organized is a challenge. It is a testament to both the government and international partners that these sessions are held at all.

More has to be accomplished in the near future, including the adoption of the Special Criminal Court’s rules of procedure and evidence, but the prosecutor is in place and developing his strategy. Nonetheless, the court is not being established in a political vacuum. Armed groups continue to seek a place at the negotiating table, and the question of amnesty still lurks in the margins of some of the negotiations to end fighting in certain areas. Thus far, officials from the Central African Republic have not yielded when it comes to giving amnesties that would cover grave crimes. But some of the same groups that are implicated in grave crimes and are demanding blanket amnesties are seeing their own men placed in high-ranking positions in the current government, which is a concern.

Amnesty deals have been made in the past in the Central African Republic, which contributed to recurrent violence. It will be crucial that amnesties extending to grave crimes remain off the table. This is consistent with international law and practice. Moreover, the citizens of the Central African Republic have made clear their desire for perpetrators to be held to account as part of the recommendations of the Bangui Forum on National Reconciliation held in 2015.

The reason these groups want blanket amnesty is clear. We have talked with their leaders, and they are afraid of justice. They know that Andjilo was found guilty. They know about the Special Criminal Court and are scared that it can end the impunity they have enjoyed for so long. And they are terrified of being held accountable for their actions.

SOURCE; https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/trend-lines/24139/warlord-s-conviction-in-central-african-republic-is-a-first-step-toward-justice