Downloads

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.

SOURCE: CICC http://www.coalitionfortheicc.org/asp-2017-day-5?utm_source=CICC+Newsletters&utm_campaign=126a9a0cd0-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2016_11_07&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_68df9c5182-126a9a0cd0-408906681

Downloads

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.

SOURCE: CICC

Downloads

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:
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/britain-replaces-un-ambassador-following-icj-defeat/articleshow/61824376.cms

Downloads

Somali judge reelected to the International Court of Justice

Somali Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf has been reelected to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) based in the Hague, the Netherlands.

The prominent lawyer who has been a Member of the Court since 2009 has also held the position of Vice-President since 2015.

He is among the four judges elected after five rounds of simultaneous voting by the UN General Assembly and Security Council on Thursday from an initial pool of six candidates to the 15-Member judicial body of the United Nations.

They were elected by an absolute majority to nine-year terms, starting on February 6 next year. A fifth judge will be elected on Monday after a deadlock between two candidates on Thursday.

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf is one of three Members of the Court from Africa including Judge Mohamed Bennouna from Morocco and Judge Julia Sebutinde from Uganda.

Five seats of the 15-Member judicial body come up for election every three years.

Judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, before his election in 2009, served as Chief Legal Counsel to various international organizations including UNESCO and UNIDO.

He studied law in Somalia and has authored more than 7 books and over 50 articles in various fields

He studied law in Somalia and has authored more than 7 books and over 50 articles in various fields of public international law.

Downloads

Libyan lawyers welcome ICC prosecutor Bensouda’s promise to finally…

The commitment International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda gave to the UN Security Council that in 2018, that she really would be getting on with investigating and prosecuting Libyan war crimes, has been welcomed by Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL).

The organisation, which has been among the frequent international critics of Bensouda and the inability of the ICC to get to grips with prosecutions of Libyan war criminals, praised her determination. It observed that this was the 13th time that Bensouda had spoken to the Security Council about Libya.

“We hope that the prosecutor’s comments will serve as a much-needed reminder to actors involved in the commission of the ongoing atrocities in Libya that the international community is watching and stands ready to take action” said LFJL director El ham Saudi, What is needed now is a concerted effort for collaboration between the ICC, states and civil society to ensure that the ICC has the resources, access and reach to ensure that its mandate reaches the ground”.

Saudi noted Bensouda’s comments to Security Council members on the principle that military commanders had responsibility for the actions of their subordinates and that, under the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), they could be held liable for crimes that subordinates committed.

Saudi said the LFJL welcomed Bensouda’s “unequivocal call for greater cooperation from Libya” to ensure the arrest of war crimes suspect Saiqa Special Forces major Mahmoud Al-Warfali.

She said justice was key to achieving sustainable peace: “Accountability for serious crimes and respect for the rule of law must form the cornerstone of the ongoing political dialogue if Libya is to achieve peace, stability and security”.

Source: Libya heraldhttps://www.libyaherald.com/2017/11/11/libyan-lawyers-welcome-icc-prosecutor-bensoudas-promise-to-finally-focus-on-libya/

Downloads

BENUE STATE GOVERNOR THREATENS TO SEEK PROTECTION OF ICC…

MAKURDI—Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has reiterated his commitment to approach the International Criminal Court, ICC, at The Hague, to have Benue people protected from herdsmen attacks as the Open Grazing Prohibition Law comes into effect today.
Addressing thousands of Benue people, including youths and non-indigenes resident in the state under the aegis of Street Movement Against Ravages in Benue, during a solidarity/sensitisation walk to mark the end of open grazing in the state, the governor said he will not renege on his avowed determination to protect the lives and properties of the people. Gov Samuel Ortom Represented by his Deputy, Mr. Benson Abounu, Governor Ortom said: “As a law-abiding government that believes in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we will not shy away from our responsibilities to protect the lives of all the inhabitants of Benue State against any forceful perpetration of criminal injustices. “That is why this law came into being, And from November 1 (today), the law will come into full force because for close to five years herdsmen killed thousands of Benue people and it was almost becoming a pogrom. “If it means going to the International Criminal Court at The Hague, talking to people, sensitising, singing and shouting, this government will go the whole hog to protect the lives and properties of our people.” Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo communities back Ortom Earlier, speaking on behalf of the Benue Youths Forum, Mr. Daniel Nyikagh, who declared the support of all Benue youths for Governor Ortom, said: “The law is the panacea to the pogrom we witnessed in our state; it is not intended to chase anyone away, but to ensure peaceful coexistence. Speaking on behalf of displaced persons, Reverend Father Solomon Mffa, said: “President Muhammadu Buhari must speak out against the activities of herdsmen in the country, because the killing of innocent persons is worst than corruption.”

The leaders of Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa communities, who spoke at the occasion, pledged their support for Ortom, the law and its full implementation. Many of the participants bore placards with inscriptions such as ‘No more wild grazing in Benue,’ ‘Benue people stand with Governor Samuel Ortom,’ ‘Herdsmen respect our laws,’ ‘We are tired of burying our people’ and ‘Open grazing prohibition law is for peaceful coexistence.’

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/11/grazing-law-takes-effect-today-well-head-icc-protect-benue-people-herdsmen-ortom/

 

 

 

Downloads

Burundi-ICC: The legal consequences of opening of the investigation…


1. Background

 

Since Nkurunziza Pierre’s decision to run for a third term in violation of the constitution and the historic Arusha peace and reconciliation agreement of Burundi, in April 2015, Burundi has been plunged into an unprecedented crisis with an escalating violence. According to estimates by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), between 26 April 2015 and 30 August 2016, at least 564 cases of executions have been registered. By the end of April 2016, the OHCHR office in Burundi had documented 36 enforced disappearances, 3477 arbitrary arrests or detentions, 651 cases of torture and 19 cases of sexual violence since the beginning of the crisis.

Burundi has been a State party to the Rome Statute since 1 December 2004. The International Criminal Court (hereinafter referred to as the ICC) has jurisdiction over crimes against humanity, crimes of genocide and war crimes committed on territory of Burundi or by Burundian nationals as from that date.

The evolution of the situation in the country has thus legitimately attracted the attention of the ICC Prosecutor who twice expressed his concerns about the Preliminary examination is the initial phase of any proceeding before the ICC, in which the ICC Prosecutor’s Office determines “whether there is a reasonable basis for initiating an investigation”

The reaction of the Burundian state was not long in coming and on October 7, 2016, he announced his intention to withdraw from the Rome Statute. On October 12, 2016, the two Houses of Parliament of Burundi had already passed the bill of withdrawal, in an unprecedented rush, President Nkurunziza promulgated the law on October 18, 2016. On October 27, 2016, Burundi officially notified its withdrawal to the Secretariat United Nations.

In the past, threats of such action have not been lacking, but so far no state has so clearly demonstrated its willingness to complete the withdrawal. However, following the steps taken by Burundi on 21 October 2016, South Africa expressed the same desire and the day itself became the first country to formally withdraw from the Rome Statute, 11 opening the door to a “Domino effect”. Indeed, this road has already been undertaken by The Gambia, which announced its intention to withdraw on 25 October 2016. Fortunately, it recanted itself in favor of the change of institutions that took place in that country with the overthrow of the President Yahya Jammeh,

 

The South African justice also invalidated the government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, to say that ultimately only Burundi actually withdrew

The purpose of this contribution is to explore the legal consequences of Burundi’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute of the ICC on the current preliminary examination and the possible continuation of the proceedings, by analyzing the relevant provision of the Rome Statute (1). °). It aims to probe the avenues that are opening up in such a situation, including the possibility of continuing the preliminary investigation and the initiation of the investigation itself. This despite the expiration of a period of one year after notification of withdrawal to the Rome Statute. It will finally question the future of the international justice system based on the ICC, once the ICC does not use its prerogatives to prosecute the perpetrators of serious crimes committed in Burundi since April 2015

  1. The possibility for Burundi to withdraw to the Rome Statute

The Rome Statute expressly provides for the possibility of a State withdrawing from the treaty and specifying its terms and limitations. According to what Art. 127 (1), “Any State Party may, by written notification to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, withdraw from this Statute”.

Burundi’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court responds to a wish of the African Union because it deems it biased. But the withdrawal can not be formulated by the set of States, because the accession was made individually and the withdrawal is done individually

Art. 127 (1) goes on to say that “the withdrawal takes effect one year after the date on which the notice was received, unless the notice provides for a later date”. Thus, only from the receipt of the withdrawal instrument the period of one year begins to run. The withdrawal will not be effective for Burundi until 27 October 2017. Until the expiry of the deadline, Burundi remains a State party  with all the obligations arising therefrom..

The South African court also invalidated the government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute, which means that only Burundi has effectively withdrawn.

  1. The consequences of the Withdrawal from Burundi to the Rome Statute

According to Art. 127 (2), the withdrawal “shall not relieve the State of its obligations under the … Statute while it was a Party, including financial obligations incurred, and shall not affect cooperation established with the Court in criminal investigations and proceedings in respect of which the State had a duty to cooperate and which began before the date on which the withdrawal took effect; the withdrawal shall not affect the continuation of the examination of cases which the Court had already begun to consider before the date on which it took effect “.

From this provision we can see many consequences, in particular the obligations incurred by him when he was a party to it, including the financial obligations incurred (1), the obligation to cooperate with the Court in investigations and criminal proceedings in respect of which the State had a duty to cooperate and which began before the date on which the withdrawal took effect (2) and the obligation not to affect in any way the continuation of the examination of cases which the Court had already begun to consider before the date on which it took effect (3)

For the moment allow us to analyze the last two obligations as these are both apparently relevant to the case in this case

The obligation of cooperation with the Court in criminal investigations and proceedings in respect of which the State had a duty to cooperate and which began before the date on which the withdrawal took effect

It can be emphasized here that Art. 127 (2) of the Statute thus provides that the withdrawal does not affect the State’s co-operation obligations arising from criminal investigations and proceedings initiated before the one-year period has expired.

It is clear that the preliminary examination already begun on Burundi is part of the investigation to which Burundi has an obligation to cooperate with the court from beginning to end.

From this obligation to cooperate one can deduce the possibility of continuing the investigation in spite of the delay of one after the notification

Extension of the preliminary examination

This would seem to be the only way that the ICC would undoubtedly continue to exercise its jurisdiction once the withdrawal is executed.  This means that if the preliminary investigation was initiated before the expiry of one year after notification of the withdrawal, Burundi should cooperate from the preliminary phase until the closure of the case, to the judgment of either the conviction or acquittal of the alleged perpetrators of crimes under international law.

The obligation not to affect in any way the continuation of the examination of cases which the Court had already begun to consider before the date on which it took effect

The second paragraph of Art. 127 provides that “the withdrawal shall not affect the continuation of the examination of cases which the Court has already begun to consider” before the withdrawal is effective. The doctrine seems to agree on one point: what the editors of the Statute wished to express with this sentence remains vague.  The preparatory work does not seem to help in this sense.

First, although doubts were expressed,  it might fairly easily be considered that when Art. 127 (2) refers to the “Court”, the Office of the Prosecutor would be understood, in particular because of the use of the term “Court” throughout the Rome Statute. It could also be said that a preliminary examination is indeed an examination of a “matter”. Although the English version of the provision uses the term “matters” to create some confusion, the term “case” is used in many provisions of the Statute to indicate either a specific case.

Thus, in principle, there would be no objection to the possibility that this sentence might legitimize the continuation of the preliminary examination of the situation in Burundi which had begun before the withdrawal of the Statute became effective. Such a result would flow from the “ordinary meaning to be attributed to the terms of the treaty” and would be most consistent with its object and purpose.

However, this could be nothing but a simple academic exercise. Indeed, as Whiting correctly noted, as soon as the one-year period expires without an “investigation or criminal proceeding” within the meaning of the second paragraph, Burundi would no longer have the “duty to cooperation “under Chapter IX

Would the result change if an application for authorization to initiate an investigation by the Prosecutor acting proprio motu, submitted before the withdrawal took effect, namely on 27 October 2017, would be pending before the Pre-Trial Chamber?

An unambiguous answer can not be given. It can certainly be maintained that under the last sentence of Art. 127 (2), the withdrawal may not affect the further consideration by the Pre-Trial Chamber of the application for leave to commence an investigation. But if a positive decision of the Chamber does not intervene before the withdrawal of Burundi is effective, the fate of the investigation remains uncertain. According to Kolb, “a State which has freed itself from its treaty obligations can no longer be obliged to cooperate in an investigation or proceedings initiated after the date on which its withdrawal took effect”

  1. General international law: a means of supporting the court to open the investigation despite the end of one year after notification of the withdrawal of Burundi to the Rome Statute

In support of the second paragraph of Art. 127, one might be tempted to resort to general international law,  including relevant customary law, as codified by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (hereinafter CVDT)

Art. 70 of the CVDT provides that “Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree, the fact that a treaty has terminated under its provisions or in accordance with this Convention: (b) does not affect any right, obligation or legal position of the parties created by the execution of the treaty before it has ended ”

According to Clark, under this general rule, the ICC would in no way lose jurisdiction over crimes committed before the withdrawal was effective regardless of whether an investigation had been opened.This argument would be based on the fact that the mere commission of a crime falling within the jurisdiction of the ICC creates “a legal situation of the parties” to which withdrawal can not be infringed.In this way, Clark seems to suggest that the withdrawal ” would have no impact on the ICC’s competence with respect to crimes ex Art. 5 of the Statute allegedly committed on Burundian territory or by Burundians before the one-year time limit expired on 27 October.

Sanctions that may be opened up against other states parties, especially the African Union in the event of non-cooperation Article 86 of the Rome Statute states that “In accordance with the provisions of the present Statute, States Parties shall cooperate fully with the Court in its investigations and prosecutions of crimes within its jurisdiction. “The article states that states parties to the Rome Statute are under an obligation to cooperate fully with the court in the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of crimes under its jurisdiction. As a result, countries that would act against this provision would be subject to sanctions, as was the case in countries such as Chad and Malawi, which were sanctioned by the Court for breaching their legal obligation to arrest and surrender El BECHIR to the Court

  1. Towards the collapse of the international justice system

The case of Burundi could set a potentially very dangerous precedent for the international justice system based on the Rome Statute. Beyond the question of the mass withdrawal of African States from the Statute, which is a very questionable question outside the scope of this note, the Burundian case might suggest to other States that face (or will face) a preliminary consideration that it would be sufficient to withdraw immediately from the Rome Statute so that the initiation of an investigation could be effectively avoided. Indeed, as stated above, the Prosecutor may initiate an investigation before the withdrawal takes effect

It should be recalled that, in order for the Prosecutor to initiate an investigation on his or her own initiative, once it has concluded that there is a reasonable basis for proceeding, it is required to “submit to the Pre-Trial Chamber an application for leave to do so  “. As stated above, this request will probably not be sufficient for the Court to retain its jurisdiction: a positive decision authorizing the initiation of the investigation would seem necessary.

But the Prosecutor would not need such permission from the Pre-Trial Chamber if other actors of the international community, such as other States parties to the Rome Statute or the UN Security Council, responsibility for the fight against impunity in recalcitrant countries.

Although until then the States parties to the Statute have only referred cases directly affecting them, under Art. 14 of the Statute, a State Party may properly refer to the Prosecutor a situation such as that prevailing in Burundi. Once determined that there would be a reasonable basis for initiating an investigation, the Prosecutor could proceed without the need for prior judicial review by the Pre-Trial Chamber.

Alternatively, responsibility could be assumed by the United Nations Security Council. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Security Council may also refer a situation to the ICC and no authorization would be required for the initiation of an investigation. Today, this approach has been initiated only for the situation in Darfur (Sudan) in 2005 and for the situation in Libya in 2011.

 

 

Source: Burundi Coalition on the ICC

 

Downloads

Kenya: ICC Has Raila-Kalonzo Probe Petition, Will Issue Verdict

Nairobi — The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged receipt of a petition seeking to have it investigate National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka for incitement.

In a response to the petition filed by a Canadian lawyer David Jacobs, the ICC’s Head of Information and Evidence Unit, Mark Dillon, said ICC will consider the application in accordance with provisions of the Rome Statute.

“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 provisions of the Rome Statute of the ICC,” Dillon wrote in a letter dated October 17.

“Please note this acknowledgement letter does not mean an investigation has been opened, nor that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor,” Dillon added while noting that the petitioner will be informed in writing, with reasons provided on why a decision to commence investigations against the two NASA leaders would have been reached, or otherwise.

In the petition, lawyer Jacobs acting for International Policy Group (IPG) argued that Odinga and Kalonzo intended to commit crimes against humanity while citing incidences in which they are said to have made utterances meant to radicalize NASA supporters.

“We have strong grounds to assert that Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and their cohorts in NASA are planning to plunge Kenya into violence in pursuit of political power,” the petition backed by the IPG’s Chairperson Kenneth Orengo and the Secretary Martin Nkari reads.

According to IPG, the global networks the two NASA leaders have coupled with their clout as former senior government officials could make it difficult for any cases to be instituted, with their supporters likely to turn violent.

The petitioner cited a particular incident in which Odinga and Kalonzo are accused of having incited indigenous Kajiado residents against non-Maasai’s living in their midst on claims that they had invaded ancestral land belonging to the Maasai community.

“There is reasonable basis to believe that Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, as principal conspirators and part of a criminal organization and enterprise referred to as NASA, have intended to incite and instigate the crimes of murder, torture, persecution, forceful evictions, rape and damage to public and private property of innocent Kenyan citizens and residents who do not belong to the Maasai tribe in Kajiado County,” the petitioner states.

NASA lawyers led by Siaya Senator James Orengo have however stated since the filing of the application became known to the public that they were ready to face any court of law to defend Odinga.

This even as Odinga’s Spokesperson Dennis Onyango announced a suspension of daily demonstrations against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission while blaming security agencies for perpetrating injustices against its supporters.

“This is a temporary step to enable the coalition to attend to the supporters who were brutalized and hurt and families that lost loved ones today after police and State-protected goons descended on protesters and NASA leaders,” Onyango said in a statement.

“NASA condemns the unfolding policy of ethnic profiling and use of brutal and lethal force being meted out on protesters,” he added while appealing to human rights groups to “take a keen interest in the atrocities” being committed against its supporters across the country.

Downloads

Somalia truck bomb death toll rises to 276

 

Desperate Somalis searched for news of missing loved-ones on Monday, after a massive truck bomb in Mogadishu killed at least 276 people and left 300 injured in the deadliest ever attack to hit the conflict-torn nation.

Residents of the Somali capital, while wearily accustomed to regular bombs and attacks by Islamist militants, have been left stunned by the monster explosion Saturday which gutted surrounding buildings and left victims burned beyond recognition.

A statement from the information ministry on Monday said “276 people were killed in the blast… and 300 wounded were admitted at the different hospitals in Mogadishu.”

The government said it had set up an emergency committee to help relatives find the missing, with a crisis centre in the capital that residents can turn to.

Police official Ibrahim Mohamed told AFP that many of the victims were “burned beyond recognition” in what he described as “the deadliest attack ever.”

Turkey sent a military plane full of medical supplies to Mogadishu on Monday, also evacuating some of the injured for treatment.

The blast occurred at a junction in Hodan, a bustling commercial district which has many shops, hotels and businesses in the city’s northwest. Several experts told AFP the truck was probably carrying at least 500 kilogrammes (1,100 pounds) of explosives.

Abdulahi Nuradin was one of many helping friends and family hunting for news of the missing.

“It has been more than 24 hours now and we don’t have any traces or information about the sister of my friend. We can assume she is dead, with her flesh somewhere amongst the horribly burned dead bodies,” he told AFP.

“We went to several hospitals to seek any information but no to avail, the family is now 99 percent convinced she is dead, I saw so many severed pieces of human flesh at the hospitals, you cannot even look at them,” he added.

– ‘Devastation beyond imagination’ –

Local government official Muhidin Ali said more than 100 bodies who were impossible to identify had already been buried.

“The gruesome dead bodies were displayed at the hospitals for relatives but a few were recognised and most of them not at all, the devastation is something beyond the imagination of humankind,” he said.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but the Shabaab, a militant group aligned with Al-Qaeda, carries out regular suicide bombings in Mogadishu in its bid to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government.

The group has a history of not claiming attacks whose scale provokes massive public outrage.

The previous deadliest assault took place in October 2011, when a truck bomb targeting a government office left 82 dead and 150 injured.

Saturday’s blast, the worst in Somalia’s history, came six years after Shabaab militants were pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union and Somali troops.

While they were also pushed out of major towns across southern Somalia the militants still control rural areas and launch attacks on military, government and civilian targets in Somalia, as well as terrorist raids in neighbouring Kenya.

According to the Nairobi-based Sahan thinktank, at least 723 people were killed and over 1,000 injured in bomb attacks in 2016 in Somalia.

Downloads

UN Peacekeeper Killed In Attack on DR Congo Base…

Rebels from a Ugandan-dominated group attacked a UN military base in DR Congo's unstable east, killing one peacekeeper and injuring 12 others, the UN mission said.  By ALAIN WANDIMOYI (AFP/File)

Rebels from a Ugandan-dominated group attacked a UN military base in DR Congo’s unstable east, killing one peacekeeper and injuring 12 others, the UN mission said. By ALAIN WANDIMOYI (AFP/File)

Kinshasa (AFP) – Rebels from a Ugandan-dominated group on Monday attacked a UN military base in DR Congo’s unstable east, killing one peacekeeper and injuring 12 others, the UN mission said.

The attack took place in Beni where UN soldiers have been battling the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is dominated by hardline Ugandan Muslims, a spokesman for the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo said.

Congolese troops had clashed with the rebels in the area on Sunday. The day before, the ADF attacked around 10 motorbike taxis in the locality.

“The Mamundioma base was attacked at 5:30 am (0330 GMT),” the UN mission known by its French acronym MONUSCO said, adding that UN ground and air forces had been deployed in the area.

The UN did not specify the nationality of the dead soldier or the injured.

Rich in precious minerals, the east of DRC has been unstable for 20 years.

Several dozen local and foreign armed groups stand accused of serious rights abuses against civilians, such as rape, killings and abductions.

The ADF has been accused by Kinshasa and the UN mission of killing more than 700 people in the Beni region since October 2014.