Remaining fugitives will face justice - Rwandan UN tribunal

The prosecutor for the UN tribunal on the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Hassan Jallow, asserted that remaining fugitives will face justice. Addressing the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Jallow asserted that arresting the remaining nine fugitives would serve the " interests of international justice and regional peace and security ". Jallow urged member states to hand over any of the wanted men who may be sheltering in their country. See also: Next ICC Chief Prosecutor pledges universal accountability (02 Dec 2011) US welcomes conviction of Rwanda mayor for genocide, urges further justice (20 Nov...

US Secretary of State meets Syrian opposition

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, has met with seven members of the opposition Syrian National Council at a meeting in Geneva , discussing ideas to strengthen Syria’s transition towards democracy. It is only the second time that Clinton has met with the Syrian opposition, having first met with representatives at the State Department in August, shortly before the US called on Assad to step down. In the meeting Clinton told the opposition, "A democratic transition includes more than removing the Assad regime. It means setting Syria on the path of the rule of law and protecting the...

UN tightens sanctions on Eritrea

The UN Security Council today toughened its sanctions against Eritrea after the East African country was accused of supporting militants in neighbouring Somalia. Foreign companies involved in Eritrea’s mining operations must now ensure funds from the sector do not end up in the hands of militants. The Security Council resolution had been watered down after objections by Russia and China. Some European countries also expressed concern the impact sanctions would have on ordinary Eritreans. "Eritrea is a prime source of instability for the whole region," said Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles...

Navi Pillay calls for independent investigation into Yemeni violence

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, condemned the killing of unarmed civilians by the Yemeni government and asserted the government's obligation to protect the economic, social and cultural rights of all Yemenis. Calling on the government to grant immediate access to UN staff to enable an independent assessment of the human rights situation on the ground, Pillay reiterated that violations must be made public via an independent investigation. Speaking in Geneva on Tuesday, she said, “Unarmed civilians, including very young children, have been shot and left dead or with serious...

Arab League sets new Syria deadline

Syria has been warned they will face fresh sanctions unless they agree to the Arab League proposal to let observers into the country. League members said Syria had until Sunday to allow Arab League officials to observe the current situation in Syria. At a meeting of the Arab League ministerial committee on Saturday, Qatari PM Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Jabr al-Thani said: "We asked the Syrian minister of foreign affairs if the Syrian government will agree to sign tomorrow [Sunday] and we are still waiting for a reply. "Aside from the deadline, we are willing to convince them that this is the...

Gbagbo first of many to face ICC - Chief Prosecutor

Former Ivory Coast President, Laurent Gbagbo, became the first ex-head of state to appear before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Monday, as Chief ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, vowed that justice would not stop there and all those responsible for atrocities would be held to account. In a statement, Moreno-Ocampo said, " In the past, if you were a head of state you could commit massive atrocities and nothing would happen." " This era is gone ." “ Ivorian victims will see justice for massive crimes ,” "We have evidence that the violence did not happen by chance: widespread and systematic attacks against civilians perceived as supporting the other candidate were the result of a deliberate policy ,” He added that investigations into the violence will continue and Gbagbo was " only the first " to face justice. Meanwhile, Gbagbo has claimed he was "deceived" into being transferred to The Hague. Gbagbo told the court he had been told he was going to meet a judge in the north-eastern town of Korhogo when an arrest warrant was produced. " My lawyers were not prepared for that ," he said, adding that the he was only made aware of his journey to The Hague upon arrival at the airport.

Syria agrees to observers and conducts war games

Syria has agreed to an Arab League demand to allow in observers to monitor its crackdown on anti-government protests. The Assad regime however placed conditions on the Arab League's protocol, namely the suspension of all sanctions placed by the Arab League last week. Syria is also demanding the annulment of its suspension from the body. The Arab League's secretary general Nabil al-Araby responded saying any lifting of sanctions must be agreed to by the bloc's members. Syria held military exercises on Sunday, testing out long-range missiles and helicopters in a show of force, thought to...

Kosovo and Serbia reach border deal

The European Union has mediated a deal between Kosovo and Serbia to jointly manage their border crossings. "The parties reached an agreement on the EU-developed concept of integrated management for crossing points," the EU said in a statement late on Friday. "This means that the parties will gradually set up the joint, integrated, single and secure posts at all their common crossing points." Sporadic clashes have broken out between NATO troops and Serbs in Northern Kosovo, over who manages the border. Serbian President Tadic Boris Tadic welcomed the deal and called on Serbs to dismantle...

ICC compiles satellite evidence of war crimes in Sudan

The International Criminal Court is compiling evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by the Sudanese Defence Minister, Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussain, along the border between South and North Sudan. Satellite images taken by the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) , organised by George Clooner in partnership with the Enough Project, by John Prendergast. Hussein is wanted by the ICC for alleged crimes committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004. According to Time magazine, an internal ICC memo highlights Hussein, as "currently central to the commission of similar crimes", and states that...

UN resolution condemns Syria

The UN Human Rights Council has passed a resolution condemning “the continued widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights” in Syria, as a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protests enters the ninth month. At an emergency meeting the resolution was approved by 37 votes in favour to four against, and six abstentions. Russia and China were amongst those who voted against the resolution. UN human rights chief Navi Pillay told the council that over 4000 people had been killed so far, including 307 children. She said , "In light of the manifest failure of the Syrian authorities to protect their citizens, the international community needs to take urgent and effective measures to protect the Syrian people. " The move was welcomed by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said that it showed “that the Assad regime is now more isolated and under greater international pressure than ever before." In a statement released in Washington, she stated, "It is clear that the Syrian government is willing to do anything to strangle the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people." She also told the " people of Syria, the world stands by you, and we will not ignore your plight in the face of ongoing violence. " The U.S. ambassador, Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe also commented on the resolution saying, "We've set the stage in a very substantive way for strong action by the U.N. if other entities choose to take the opportunity." Asked if this included the ICC, she replied , "Absolutely, including the ICC if the Security Council chooses to refer this matter." Responding to Syrian claims that armed groups were responsible for the violence in the country, State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, "The overwhelming use of force has been taken by Assad and his regime. So there's no kind of equanimity here. "

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