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L’augmentation De La Situation Des Droits De l’homme Au…

La Mission Multidimensionnelle Intégrée des Nations Unies pour la Stabilisation au Mali et le bureau du Haut-Commissaire aux droits de l’homme (HCDH) ont publié aujourd’hui un rapport public sur les droits de l’homme et le processus de paix au Mali, le produit du suivi et de l’analyse effectués pendent la période intérimaire de l’accord de la paix.

Malgré la signature de l’Accord de paix, le rapport constate que la situation des droits de l’homme reste toujours un sujet d’intérêt.

En conséquence, le rapport publié aujourd’hui révèle que plus de 600 cas de violations et d’abus des droits de l’homme ont été commis entre janvier 2016 et juin 2017. Plus de 800 autres incidents impliquant des éléments armés non identifiés et mettant en danger la vie des civils s’arrivé également pendent cette période. Au total, ces actes de violence faire l’impact sur plus de 2 700 victimes, dont 441 personnes sont tuées. La grande majorité des victimes étaient des hommes et des enfants.

Plus de 78% des violations, abus et autres incidents mettant en danger la vie des civils impliquaient des mouvements armés signataires ou non signataires de l’Accord de paix, ou des éléments armés non identifiés. Les auteurs incluent également des éléments affiliés à Al-Qaïda au Maghreb islamique (AQMI), Ansar Dine et d’autres groupes similaires. Les acteurs de l’État malien, principalement les forces de défense et de sécurité maliennes, étaient impliqués dans 20% de ces cas, tandis que les forces internationales, y compris la MINUSMA, étaient impliquées dans 2% d’entre eux.

Divers confrontation entre groupes armés signataires dans la région de Kidal, l’expansion des activités d’AQMI, d’Ansar Dine et d’autres groupes similaires, une caractère généralisé croissante de vols et d’autres crimes violents dans les régions centrales du Mali, ainsi que des opérations antiterroristes menées par les forces de défense et de sécurité maliennes, sont les principaux facteurs conduisant à des violations des droits de l’homme et des abus.

Dans ce contexte, la Division des droits de l’homme et de la protection de la MINUSMA a travaillé avec les autorités maliennes et les mouvements armés sur des questions liées à la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix, notamment la question des détentions liées au conflit. En conséquence, la Division a surveillé les violations des droits de l’homme commises contre des personnes arrêtées et détenues dans le cadre d’opérations antiterroristes.

La Division a également suivi la question de la lutte contre l’impunité, qui est l’élément essentiel de tout processus de paix durable, y compris les procédures judiciaires relatives aux violations et abus commis par les mouvements armés entre 2012 et 2013, ainsi que celles impliquant la défense et la sécurité des forces maliennes au cours de leur reprise du nord du Mali à partir de 2013.

Le rapport a remarqué, cependant, que des progrès significatifs ont été réalisés dans le domaine de la justice transitionnelle, avec la création de la Commission vérité, justice et réconciliation et le début des déclarations des victimes et des témoins de violations et abus des droits de l’homme.

“Ce rapport fournit des informations utiles sur les défis et les progrès de la situation des droits de l’homme dans le nord et le centre du Mali”. Le représentant spécial du Secrétaire général des Nations Unies et chef de la MINUSMA, Monsieur Mahamat Saleh Annadif, ajouté que «  Il explique également que le respect des droits de l’homme, loin d’être un facteur de tension, peut contribuer, au contraire, à créer un environnement contribuant à la mise en œuvre de l’Accord de paix »

 

Source:        http://ncicc.org.ng/2018/02/03/human-rights-situation-in-mali-increases/

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Les Suspects De Boko Haram En Proces Pubic Au…

Quatre-vingt-une personnes accusées de se battre pour Boko Haram ont été jugées le jeudi au Niger lors d’une audience publique, l’une des premières du genre après les procès à huis clos des insurgés présumés a été critiquée par des groupes de défense des droits humains.

Ceux qui sont jugés par un tribunal international spécial à Niamey, la capitale, viennent du Niger, du Nigeria et du Tchad et sont soupçonnés de jouer un rôle dans la tentative de Boko Haram de créer un califat au Nigéria.

L’insurrection islamiste s’est étendue au-delà de ses racines au Nigeria, impliqué du morts de 20 000 et déracinant près de 3 millions dans la région du lac Tchad.

Les procès de Niamey font suite à des procès à huis clos de Boko Haram, y compris au Nigéria, où un tribunal a emprisonné 45 personnes entre trois et trente-et-un ans en prison en octobre, mais le gouvernement  ne donnait pas la raison pour laquelle ils avaient été condamnés.

Les procès ouverts visent à montrer que les combattants présumés bénéficieront d’une procédure régulière, et pourraient également contribuer à atténuer un conflit augmenté par le mauvais traitement des captifs.

La mort du fondateur de Boko Haram en 2009, Mohammed Yusuf,  qui était emprisonnement est considérée comme l’un des principaux déclencheurs du conflit.

Le tribunal de Niamey entendra  le 22 procès distinctes au cours des 10 jours, à la suite du procès de près de 300 personnes accusées de l’accusation  similaires l’année dernière. En tout, près de 1 000 personnes devraient comparaître devant le tribunal.

 

Boko Haram Suspects Go on Public Trial in Niger

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AU seeks ICJ Opinion on Head of State Immunities

The 30th session of the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government concluded this week in Addis Ababa with the regional body agreeing to move forward with a request to seek an advisory opinion from the UN’s highest court – the International Court of Justice – on the question of immunities of heads of state and government and other senior officials.

The move comes following years of legal wrangling around the execution of the International Criminal Court arrest warrants for Sudanese President Omar AL-Bashir, who has traveled to several African countries that are states parties to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty.

Most recently, ICC judges found that South Africa had failed to comply with its obligations under the Rome Statute to arrest AL-Bashir during a 2015 visit. The African Union supports South Africa’s position that competing obligations under customary international law trump obligations under ICC law.

In instructing its African Group in New York to immediately place the request for the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly, the African Union is seeking clarity on relationship between Rome Statute Article 27 (irrelevance of official capacity) and Article 98 (cooperation with respect to waiver of immunity and consent to surrender) and the obligations of ICC states parties under wider international law.

Allan Ngari, Senior Researcher with the Institute for Security Studies in Pretoria:

“Ideally, the judges of the ICC’s Appeals Chamber should interpret the court’s founding law with finality, but such a decision might not be perceived as truly objective by African states and the AU that have questioned the legitimacy of some of the ICC’s work, particularly with respect to the arrest warrant against President Omar AL-Bashir of Sudan.  If framed correctly by the UNGA, an Advisory Opinion of the ICJ presents an opportunity to resolve the differences in interpretation of the question of immunities from prosecution for sitting heads of state before the ICC and possibly the corresponding obligations on States and non-States parties with the cooperation regime of the ICC. These questions are at the heart of the tensions between African states and the AU on the one hand, and the ICC on the other.”

The AU also instructed the Africa group of ICC states parties to request the establishment of a working group on the question of immunities and related cooperation, and to urge the next Assembly of States Parties of the ICC to withdraw from its agenda the consideration of the Draft Action Plan on Arrest Strategies.

The gathering of African heads of states also expressed deep concern with the ICC’s July 2017 decision that found South Africa non-compliant with the Rome Statute and condemned the opening of the ICC investigation in Burundi in 2017.

Addressing the summit opening, African Union Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat said that 2018 would be the year of the battle against corruption and institutional reform.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres also spoke at the opening of the summit, saying the partnership between Africa and the UN was “solid, and grounded on sound principles of human rights and good governance.”  Guterres also met with al-Bashir to discuss issues such as the joint AU-UN peacekeeping force in Darfur.

 

SOURCE; CICC- http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/news/20180201/globaljustice-weekly-au-seeks-icj-opinion-head-state-immunities-witnesses-take-stand

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Human Rights Situation in Mali Increases

The UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali MINUSMA and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a joint public report today on human rights and the peace process in Mali, the product of monitoring and analysis conducted during the interim period of the Peace Agreement.

Despite the signature of the Peace Agreement, the report finds that the human rights situation remains of concern.

Accordingly, the report published today finds that more than 600 cases of human rights violations and abuses were committed between January 2016 and June 2017. More than 800 other incidents involving unidentified armed elements and placing the lives of civilians at risk also occurred during the same period. In total, these acts of violence impacted more than 2,700 victims, including 441 individuals who were killed. The vast majority of victims were men and children.

More than 78 per cent of violations, abuses and other incidents putting the lives of civilians at risk involved signatory or non-signatory armed movements of the Peace Agreement, or unidentified armed elements. Perpetrators also include elements affiliated with Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Ansar Dine, and other similar groups. Malian State actors, primarily Malian defence and security forces, were involved in 20 per cent of these cases, while international forces, including MINUSMA, were involved in 2 per cent of them.

Various confrontations between signatory armed groups in Kidal region, the expansion of the activities of AQIM, Ansar Dine, and other similar groups, an increasing prevalence of armed robbery and other violent crime in the central regions of Mali, as well as counter-terrorism operations carried out by Malian defence and security forces, are the primary factors leading to human rights violations and abuses.

In this context, the Human Rights and Protection Division of MINUSMA has worked with Malian authorities and armed movements on issues related to the implementation of the Peace Agreement, in particular the issue of conflict-related detentions. Accordingly, the Division has monitored human rights violations committed against persons arrested and detained in the context of counter-terrorism operations.

The Division has also followed the issue of the fight against impunity, which is a cardinal element of any lasting peace process, including judicial procedures related to violations and abuses committed by armed movements between 2012 and 2013, as well as those involving Malian defence and security forces during their re-taking of Northern Mali beginning in 2013.

The report notes, however, that significant progress has been made in the area of transitional justice, with the establishment of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, and the beginning of statement-taking from victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses.

“This report provides useful insights on the challenges and progress in the human rights situation in northern and central Mali,” noted the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Head of MINUSMA, Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, adding that “it also demonstrates that respect for human rights, far from being a generator of tension, may contribute, on the contrary, to creating an environment that is conducive to the implementation of the Peace Agreement.”

SOURCE; Relief webhttps://reliefweb.int/report/mali/despite-implementation-peace-agreement-human-rights-situation-mali-remains-concern

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Baseline Meeting of African Civil Society Network on International…

On the 23rd to 25th of January 2018, the  Coalition for the International Criminal Court  (CICC)  together with the Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC) organized a baseline meeting of African Civil Society Network working on International Criminal Justice at Hotel Ibis Marcoury Abidjan. The aim of the meeting was to create a network of Civil Society  that would encourage the African government to  support the Hague based court.

The baseline meeting brought together not less than 15  African countries including leaders of national coalitions for the ICC in various African countries, Magistrates, Human rights groups and representatives from P.E countries and countries under investigation.

The meeting saw to an interactive round table session of members suggesting credible ideas on how to bridge the gap between the ICC and Africa. Participants also discussed the need to have in place a strong mechanism or institution that makes it possible to punish perpetrators of heinous and atrocious human rights violations and seek justice for victims of such violations.

 

“We are concerned that 20 years after the entry into force of the Rome Statute, many state parties are yet to enact legislation’s implementing the provisions of the Statute into their national laws. ” said Chino Obiagwu, chairman of the Nigerian coalition for the ICC in his opening remarks. “This network is a key means of raising awareness  among the African people and encouraging African governments to support the Rome Statute system”.

The meeting was supported by the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and hosted by the Ivorian Coalition for the ICC.

 

Pictures of the baseline meeting

 

Photos of the baseline meeting

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Terrorized Donbas Judges Pass 12 Times Fewer Sentences on…

Separatists” and Russian soldiers who commit crimes in the Donbas military zone get much lighter sentences than Ukrainian soldiers, and this has nothing to do with any difference in the gravity of their crimes, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group wrote.
A prominent expert in criminal law, Professor Mykola Khavronyuk, warns that the Ukrainian authorities are failing to ensure that justice is served in Donbas, despite apparently obvious solutions to some of the main problems, KHPG reports. The statistics revealed are certainly disturbing. In 2015, some 2,500 Ukrainian soldiers were convicted of violations of Ukrainian legislation on military service. This is in stark contrast to the 210 people convicted of crimes linked with separatism, terrorism or other activities of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics’ [DPR, LPR].
The judges now working in Donbas are partly intimidated, partly blackmailed. The number of both courts and judges has fallen significantly, and those who remain are often influenced by relatives remaining in areas under the pro-Russian militant control. The judges often pass sentences which are lighter than warranted out of fear both for themselves, and for their relatives. “This cannot be called independent and objective justice,” Khavronyuk says, adding that such rulings are much less just than in other parts of Ukraine. This will mean that after what he terms de-occupation, a huge number of investigators will be needed to probe crimes committed on the territory in question. Read also Donbas swap: Some from militant lists refuse to return to “LPR/DPR” Oleksandr Pavlichenko from the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union recalls cases where people linked with volunteer battalions have literally seized court premises, demanding that the judges pass the ruling they wanted. He knows of cases where the local authorities have become involved in putting pressure on the courts. On one occasion, the heating in the courtroom was switched off, and the security guards removed. Some judges openly state that they have a conflict of interests because of family in areas under militant control and therefore withdraw themselves from a case. This has led to a huge backlog, especially since many cases need to be heard by a panel of three judges. If just one withdraws him or herself, the court hearings cannot continue. Khavronyuk is generally very critical of Ukraine’s law enforcement bodies for failing to carry out justice as needed. He notes that the military prosecutor’s office, which was reinstated in 2014, is mainly concentrating on corruption crimes.

“They are for some reasons not taking on the investigation of the 1200 crimes about which the International Criminal Court recently reminded Ukraine”. he adds. Read also OHCHR reports 544 conflict-related civilian casualties in Donbas since Jan 1 The criticism expressed by Khavronyuk and human rights groups has been reiterated by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In its latest, 20th, report, it states that “Accountability for grave human rights violations in conflict-related cases remained elusive. Legal proceedings were plagued by ineffective investigations, politicization of cases with the involvement of high level officials and infringements on the independence of the judiciary. OHCHR documented substantial pressure exerted on judges in numerous cases”. The accounts already given by some of the 73 soldiers and civilian hostages recently freed from DPR / LPR captivity have only confirmed the doubts about the ‘legal remedies’ provided by the Kremlin-backed ‘republics’. The massive ‘sentences’ passed on blogger Edward Nedelyaev, religious scholar Ihor Kozlovskyy and many others for expressing their pro-Ukrainian position were evidently political, but there are also other sentences for real crimes which must also arouse concern. Read also As fighting intensifies, humanitarian aid for Ukraine faces severe cuts – Hromadske International OHCHR notes, for example, that “within structures in territory controlled by armed groups, arbitrary detentions and ‘prosecutions’ were compounded by the lack of recourse to an effective remedy. This is of particular concern given the ‘pronouncement’ of a second ‘death penalty’ by the ‘supreme court’ of the ‘Donetsk people’s republic’ in November.” As reported earlier, although Ukraine is only due to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court [ICC] in 2019, it has recognized the Court’s jurisdiction to prosecute crimes against humanity and war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine from February 20, 2014. While the Office of the ICC Prosecutor has already established that Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea constitute an international armed conflict, Russia’s major involvement in the conflict in Donbas turning this into “an armed conflict of an international nature” remains at the stage of investigation. It is both for this reason, and because of the clear need to ensure justice for the future reintegration of Ukraine, that Ukraine’s law enforcement agencies need to be investigating all killings, abductions, disappearances, cases of torture and ill-treatment and other crimes committed in Donbas. It should be stressed that this is regardless of which side is believed to have been involved, however civic organizations can also help the law enforcement bodies in gathering hard evidence of Russia’s control over the so-called ‘republics’, its direct military involvement, as well as its critical role in funding and arming the militants.

SOURCE:UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/society/2335943-terrorized-donbas-judges-pass-12-times-fewer-sentences-on-russia-backed-militants-than-on-ukrainian-soldiers.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ICC judges ‘prejudiced’ say lawyers for DR Congo’s Bemba

Former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Michael Kooren

Lawyers for former Congolese vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba Tuesday slammed his conviction for war crimes, accusing judges of “prejudice” and calling for the judgement to be scrapped.Bemba, 55, is appealing an 18-year jail term handed down by the International Criminal Court in June 2016 after judges found him guilty on five charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for his role in atrocities committed by his troops in the Central African Republic (CAR).

Once the powerful leader of the Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) and a wealthy businessman, the court said Bemba had failed to stop a series of rapes and murders by his soldiers in the CAR in 2002 and 2003.

But Bemba’s lawyer Peter Haynes told a hearing at the Hague-based ICC that trial judges chose to ignore much of the evidence presented by the defence.

“A hatchet was simply taken to the defence case,” Haynes told the five appeals judges.

“The trial chamber’s approach to evidence was unbalanced. For no articulated reason, the trial chamber ignored important evidence on central issues,” Haynes said.

This included the testimony of a retired senior French military officer, Brigadier-General Jacques Seara, who told judges that Bemba was not in command of his troops when they carried out the crimes.

Seara’s evidence was totally dismissed by the judges “notwithstanding his wealth of experience which entitled him to give evidence,” Haynes said.

“Simply put, the trial chamber deviated so substantially from the essential conditions of a fair trial that prejudice must be presumed,” he said.

“No trial judgement can be allowed to stand in such circumstances.”

Bemba’s case which opened in November 2010 was the first before the ICC to focus on sexual violence as a weapon of war, and the first to underline a military commander’s responsibility for the conduct of troops under his control.

In an appeal filed before the court, Bemba’s lawyers however said the judges’ “findings on effective control fall far outside established military doctrine and practice”.

Bemba’s trial “invented a theory of command responsibility which is a military impossibility”, his defence team said.

In a separate trial, Bemba was also sentenced in March last year to one year in jail and fined 300,000 euros for bribing witnesses during his main war crimes trial.

Bemba is expected to address the hearing, due to last until Monday.

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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

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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: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/01/benue-killings-fg-security-agenciesve-abandoned-us-ortom/

News

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.