Archive for category Libya
G8 differ on sides but agree to condemn chemical weapons: The Syrian conflict triggered a clash of opinions between G8 leaders early this week in Northern Ireland. Western leaders, openly backing the rebels, are opposed to Russian’s known support and arming of the Syrian government. Nevertheless, all G8 countries “have a shared interest in stopping the violence and securing chemical weapons in the country.” Indeed, the G8 yesterday, 18 June, issued a pledge condemning the use of chemical weapons and insisted on unobstructed UN investigations in Syria. (For additional information on this topic, please click here.)
Lawyer insists ICC prosecution of Gadhafi son more fair than Libya: John Jones, lawyer to Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, expressed anger over Libya’s recent decision to conduct national proceedings in August. Jones fears his client will be denied a fair trial in Libya and sentenced to death, preventing the ICC from rendering a judgment. Jones urged the ICC to deny the country’s request to keep Seif al-Islam in Libya for prosecution.
Former Nazi chief indicted in Hungary: 98 year old former Nazi chief, Laszlo Csatary, was charged in Hungary on Tuesday, 18 June, for war crimes committed during World War II. Csatary was head of a Nazi internment camp and is accused of executing and abusing Jews. In 1948, the Slovakian government convicted the former chief in absentia. He was tracked down in Hungary last year after a Jewish organization publicized his case. Csatary is currently in Hungary awaiting trial, though many have requested he be expedited to Slovakia.
Confirmation hearing delayed for Ntaganda: On 18 June 2013, an ICC judge announced that the confirmation hearing for DRC warlord Bosco Ntaganda is delayed until 10 February 2014. Under the Rome Statute, the confirmation hearing determines if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. Ntaganda, who is charged with crimes against humanity, was a fugitive from the ICC for 7-years, so the judge wants to give the prosecution adequate time to prepare the case.
ICC decides that Kenya’s Ruto is partially exempt from attending trial: On 18 June 2013, ICC judges partially granted Kenyan Deputy-President William Ruto’s request to participate via video link at his trial, set to start in September. Ruto is charged with crimes against humanity relating to Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence. The ICC ruled that Ruto needs to be physically present at key sessions of trial including the opening and closing of the trial, the judgment, when victims present their testimony in person, and the sentencing if necessary. ICC judges also recommended that parts of the trial should be held in Kenya or Tanzania. This ruling has no legal impact on the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is also charged with crimes against humanity.
Hundreds protest delay of ex-Ivory Coast president’s ICC trial: On 17 June 2013, about 300 people protested the ICC’s decision to delay former Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbago’s case. Gbago is charged with crimes against humanity relating to the Ivory Coast’s 2010 post-election violence. On 3 June, ICC judges gave prosecutors more time to gather evidence against Gbago because they ruled that there was not currently enough evidence to take the case to trial. Alphonse Soro, the organizer of the protest, said he wanted to show “indignation and incomprehension” and that “no sustainable peace [is] possible without a trial.”
Gaddafi and al-Senussi to be tried in Libya in August: On 17 June 2013, Libya’s prosecutor’s office announced that Col. Muammar Gaddafi son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Col. Gaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, and other senior regime members will be tried domestically in August. The men will be charged with forming criminal gangs, inciting rape, and illegal detention. The ICC has warrants out for Gaddafi and al-Senussi for war crimes, but Libya has resisted the ICC’s extradition requests. The Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said the men would receive a fair trial. Related to this announcement, on 17 June, two former senior associates of Col. Gaddafi were acquitted of wasting public money. However, the two continue to be detained as a part of the investigation for Gaddafi and al-Senussi’s trial. (For more on this topic click here.)
Senior judge killed in Libya: On 16 June 2013, it was reported that unidentified militants assassinated a senior Libyan judge in the eastern city of Derna, known to be a hotbed for Islamic militants. Judge Mohammed Naguib was shot dead in a drive-by shooting outside the courthouse.
LRA attacks leave several dead: On 16 June 2013, it was reported that clashes between the LRA and villagers in the CAR have resulted in the death of 16 people. The hostilities arose after LRA soldiers began looting villages in the region of Bria on Thursday.
Kuala Lumpur tribunal taking form: On 16 June 2013, it was announced that Gurdial Singh Nijar Sadu Singh will be representing the people at the newly formed tribunal to investigate electoral fraud. Presentations are expected to occur as soon as the five-member panel is confirmed.
Suspected Nazi commander discovered in Minnesota: On 14 June 2013, it was reported that a top commander of a Nazi SS-led unit accused of burning villages filled with women and children has been living in Minnesota since shortly after World War II, according to evidence uncovered by The Associated Press. Michael Karkoc, the suspected Nazi, could face U.S. deportation and German prosecution.
Chowdhury defense team concludes witness questioning: On 13 June 2013, the defense finished its cross-examination of the 41st and last prosecution witness. The ICT will start taking depositions from defense witnesses from June 17 in the case against BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury. Salahuddin, BNP standing committee member and son of Muslim League leader Fazlul Quader Chowdhury, is facing 23 charges of crimes against humanity.
ICC postpones demanded Gadhafi handover: On 14 June 2013, it was reported that the ICC’s request for physical custody of Abdullah al-Senussi will be postponed. The ICC is still deliberating on whther to allow Libya to put Senussi and Kadhafi’s son on trial in Libya. Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani said on June 2 that Libya would appeal an ICC decision to prosecute Seif al-Islam instead of letting domestic justice handle the case.
Court/Tribunal: International Criminal Court
Decision Title: Decision on the admissibility of the case against Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
Chamber: Pre-Trial Chamber 1
Case Name: Prosecutor v. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah al-Senussi
Date: 31 May 2013
Decision Background: The case arises from a dispute between the International Criminal Court and the country of Libya regarding the admissibility of the ICC case against Gaddafi. On 26 February 2011, the United Nations Security Council referred the situation in then-revolution Libya to the Prosecutor’s Office. On 27 June 27, the Court issued an arrest warrant for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, for his alleged role in promulgating human rights abuses against anti-government protestors during the February 2011 uprising that ultimately toppled the Gaddafi regime.
At the same time, the new government of Libya sought to try Gaddafi domestically, under Libyan national law, for actions taken against protestors during roughly the same time period as that covered by the ICC’s mandate. Conflict arose between the two jurisdictions primarily due to the obligation under an ICC arrest warrant for a country to render an ICC defendant to the custody of the court. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is currently in Libya, which has been reluctant to hand over custody due to its desire to try him nationally.
Pursuant to this conflict, on 1 May 2012, Libya filed a challenge to the case against the defendant at the ICC, and requested that the Court postpone Libya’s extradition obligations. On 21 January 2012, the defense to Mr. Gaddafi filed an urgent request with the Court, informing the Chamber that national trial proceedings against Gaddafi had begun in Libya on 17 January 2013. The defense requested an immediate decision by the Court regarding admissibility, and that the Court request that Libya immediately surrender the defendant to the Court. The defense renewed its request on 26 April, and also asked the Court to immediately revoke the temporary postponement granted to Libya regarding Gaddafi’s surrender. In May, Libya filed a response to the defense.
The offices of the defense, Prosecutor, and OPCV all submitted filings supporting the admissibility of Gaddafi’s case at the ICC. Libya, however, contends that as a national court system that is actively investigation and trying the same activity as that covered by the ICC case, under roughly comparable similar charges and modes of liability, under the principle of complementarity, its proceedings should be privileged against those at an international court. The parties filing in favor of admissibility argued several different (and sometimes overlapping) reasons in support of admissibility, mostly questioning whether or not an investigation into the February 2011 actions was earnestly being conducted by Libya, and whether or not Libya, as a practical matter, has the capacity and willingness to conduct the proceedings against Gaddafi. A threshold question of whether the conduct charged by Libya was essentially equivalent to the charges brought up to the ICC was also raised. Finally, the defense raised numerous concerns regarding his client’s ability to receive an impartial, fair trial at the national level, given the still-charged political situation in Libya post-Revolution.
Libya maintained that the conduct charged at the national level is essentially that covered by the ICC charges, maintained that it has been conducting an ongoing investigation of Gaddafi’s case, has the ability to conduct the case against Gaddafi, and can assure a fair trial for the defendant at the national level.
Decision Review: The Chamber first re-iterated Court precedent that the state (in this case Libya) challenging the admissibility of a case in front of the ICC bears the burden of proof to show that the case is inadmissible, while also validating Libya’s claim that generally, complementarity favors national proceedings. In order to hold a case inadmissible, the Court must find that a state is able and willing to forward a national prosecution, which relates to the question of the genuineness of the state’s domestic investigations and prosecutions. When there is a question about that genuineness, the Court will evaluate petitioning state’s ability and willingness to prosecute the case nationally.
The Court found that Libya was indeed taking genuine steps to prosecute and investigate Gaddafi’s case. Under Court jurisprudence, evidence adduced under an admissibility challenge must demonstrate that the country in question is taking progressive and concrete steps to investigate, gather evidence in, and further a domestic case. Importantly, however, in response to challenges made by the defense, the Court noted that the substantive quality or merits of that evidence (in terms of proving a defendants guilt or innocence) does not have to be proven. The question is whether or not the state in question can show that it is taking steps to gather evidence at put together a case. Evidence of genuine pursuit of a case can include, but will not be limited to, a showing that the state in question has interviewed witnesses or suspects, has collected documentary evidence, or has carried out forensic analysis.
The Court found issue with a number of the evidence submitted by Libya in support of its claim. Specifically, the Court found that many of the submissions were vague or inconclusive insofar as they addressed or demonstrated whether or not Libya is carrying out a genuine investigation of Gaddafi’s case. The Court found that many submitted documents did not contain information relevant to making that determination. In particular, many documents submitted by Libya did not include specific information regarding the specific criminal conduct that the state is investigating. The Court found other summaries prepared by domestic authorities, however, more complete in their presenting the alleged conduct subject to the national investigation. Taken as a whole, given that the emphasis at the admissibility stage is not on the strength of the evidence gathered, but whether evidence exists that evidence related to the case is being genuinely pursued by the national authorities, the Court found that Libya is genuinely investigating Gaddafi’s case.
The Court also addressed the issue of whether the case against the defendant pursued by the state in question is the same case pursued at the ICC. To meet this test, the national investigation must cover the same person and “conduct” by that person. Essentially, for a case to be inadmissible at the ICC, the conduct covered in the national case must be substantively the same as that covered in the ICC indictment. As this is a fact-specific question, the Court decides this question on a case-by-case basis. However, the Court noted that given the specifics of the Gaddafi case, it is not necessary that the charges, modes of liability and indicted conduct be exactly the same between the national and ICC case. Instead, the Court looks at whether the domestic case is investigating and charging the same underlying acts that comprise the basis for the case at the ICC level. The legal characterization of the underlying acts does not have to be the same to meet the “same case” test.
Following its reasoning, the Court held that the fact that the domestic case would prosecute “ordinary” criminal charges, versus criminal charges of an “international” level, in and of itself render the case admissible before the court, as the specific charges enumerated go to the legal characterization, and not the underlying acts. In looking at the specifics of the Gaddafi case, the Court noted that the temporal time period of conduct being investigated by Libya basically parallels that time period analyzed by the ICC – namely, 15 through at least 28 February 2011, an important consideration when determining if the conduct being investigated relates to the same case. The Court noted too the even though some of the conduct investigated by Libya extends beyond the time frame used by the ICC, this is not necessarily fatal to its admissibility challenge.
Taken overall, the Court was not convinced that the evidence presented by Libya adequately demonstrated that they are investigating the same case. While a number of the evidence presented by Libya suggests investigated conduct sufficiently similar to that being investigated by the ICC, the Court found that the evidence did not sufficiently demonstrate the “nuances” of the national case such that the Court could determine whether or not the two cases are essentially the same case. Libya’s failure, essentially, was evidentiary: the evidence given to the Court was not sufficiently probative or specific for rendering a determination. The evidence basically failed its sufficiency requirement.
While the Court noted that the evidentiary sufficiency issues could theoretically be remedied through additional submission by Libya, ultimately the Court found that serious – and largely insurmountable—issues remained with the nation’s ability to prosecute the case, which additional information would not remedy. The Court found that while Libya, contrary to arguments made by the defense (particularly regarding its perception that Libya is not committed to ensuring a fair trial for Gaddafi), has adequately demonstrated a commitment to prosecute fairly (evidenced by its use of outside international aid in setting up its judicial system, the country’s accession to several international right treaties, and its progressing investigation), practical obstacles exist that will render an expeditious and function trial of Gaddafi essentially impossible. Due to internal conditions still extant in Libya, the Court determined that essentially the judicial system there is in practice “unavailable” to prosecute the defendant. Because it found practically inability as dispositive in the case, the Court did not address the question of “willingness” beyond countering some defense arguments.
With respect to practical ability to prosecute, the Court found several areas of serious deficiency. First, the designated national authorities in Libya have been unable to physically obtain Gaddafi into their custody. The Court found that the situation in Libya post-Revolution is still not unified, such that the official authorities do not have control over all areas and factions within the Country. Gaddafi is currently in custody of a group and in an area that is not fully under Libyan control; as such, the Court found that, despite repeated efforts, Libya has not been able to secure Gaddafi. The Court found that nothing in the evidence suggests that this situation will change any time soon; additionally, the Court expressed reservations that, even if the Libyan government could secure Gaddafi’s transfer, they do not have the requisite control to ensure that he would not be aided in escape (or, alternatively, tortured and/or killed) during the transfer process. Because Libyan law prohibits in absentia trials for individuals still physically within the country, this inability to secure Gaddafi’s custody is a fundamental barrier to prosecuting the case.
Additionally, the Court found that the Libyan judicial system would be unable to adequately secure necessary testimony. Given the still-volatile and factional situation in Libya, and the fact the Libya does not really have a system fully in place for witness protection during trial, the Court found that the government’s ability to obtain testimony and evidence would be seriously hampered. Of particular concern to the Court in this regard, was its finding that Libya still does not retain full institutional control over its detention facilities. Furthermore, due to the political situation currently in Libya, the government has had an extremely difficult time finding domestic defense counsel willing to fairly represent Gaddafi, whether due to the attorneys’ own personal feelings, or fear of serious backlash from political factions for aiding a member of the former regime. As of yet, despite months of searching, defense counsel has not been appointed, and Libya has had to begin seeking potential counsel from neighboring countries. The Court found, however, that the evidence failed to show that this issue would or could be remedied in the foreseeable future. The Court viewed this problem in securing counsel as a fundamental obstacle to Libya’s ability to continue its case against the defendant.
As such, the Court found that the Libyan government, although not for want of trying, is practically unable to proceed with its case against Gaddafi at the domestic level. As such, the Court found that the case is admissible at the ICC. In reaching this finding, the Court reminded Libya of its now-continuing duty to surrender Gaddafi to the custody of the ICC as soon as possible.
To access the full Decision, click here.
Libya will appeal ICC’s admissibility decision regarding Saif: Libya announced this week that it would file an official appeal against the International Criminal Court’s decision of 31 May 2013 which rejected Libya’s admissibility challenge and reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to the ICC. At a joint news conference on Sunday 2 June, Libya’s Prime Minister Al Zeidan and Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani stated that an official appeal would be lodged with the ICC and that ”a team of Libyan and international experts are discussing the preparation of the appeal.” The ICC, in its admissibility decision, said Libya had not shown sufficient capacity to investigate and prosecute the son of ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi for war crimes and crimes against humanity. (For additional information on this topic, please 1. click here and 2. click here)
Ruto trial delayed at ICC: On Monday, 3 June, judges at the International Criminal Court scheduled the trial start date for Kenyan President-elect William Ruto for 10 September. The original start date of 28 May was postponed to allow prosecutors and defence attorneys the opportunity to prepare witnesses and conduct further evidence investigations. Judges presented their decision to delay trial for Ruto and co-accused Joshua Arap-Sang with recommendations that portions of the trial be conducted in Kenyan courts or neutral Tanzania. (For additional information on this topic, please click here)
HRW report identifies ICC suspect Kushayb in April attack: Human Rights Watch released a report this week, detailing how Sudanese militia leader Ali Kushayb was involved in an attack on a central Darfur town earlier this year. Kushayb and other members of pro-Sudanese Government Janjaweed fighters reportedly travelled to Abu Jeradil and attacked a rival tribe in early April. Kushayb was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes he allegedly committed during 2007 Janjaweed attacks in the Darfur Region. (For additional information on this topic, please click here)
AKM Yusaf arrested in connection with war crimes: On 12 May 2013, it was announced the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested in the capital Dhaka and charged with offences dating back to Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence with Pakistan. Jamaat opposed Bangladeshi independence from Pakistan in the war but denies accusations that some of its leaders committed murder, rape and torture during the conflict. (For additional information on this topic, please click here)
Sayedee Appeal: On 13 May 2013, it was announced the Bangladeshi Islamist politician, Delwar Hossain Sayedee, will have his appeal in front of The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on May 22 for the hearing of an appeal against the war crimes tribunal’s death sentence verdict. The International Crimes Tribunal found the 73-year-old Jamaat-e-Islami nayeb-e-ameer guilty of murder, abduction, confinement, torture, rape, persecution, torture, looting, forceful religious conversions and setting homes ablaze in rural areas of southern district Pirojpur during the 1971 Liberation War period.
Libyan trials seen as Nuremberg moment: On 8 May 2013, ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda addressed the UN Security Council and said that the Libyan government has an opportunity to set an example for the rest of the world by conducting fair and transparent trials. Rumors of rebel crimes are still surfacing but Bensouda hopes that Libya’s actions when prosecuting alleged war criminals will endeavor to seal the primacy of the rule of law, due process and human rights for future generations
Tanzanian soldiers arrive in DRC: On 10 May 2013, it was reported that a contingent of Tanzanian soldiers arrived in the eastern city of Goma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) today as part of the intervention brigade authorized by the United Nations to help neutralize armed groups in this volatile part of the country. In March the Security Council authorized the deployment of an intervention brigade within the existing UN peacekeeping operation in the country (MONUSCO) to carry out targeted offensive operations, with or without the Congolese national army, against armed groups that threaten peace in eastern DRC.
Chad allows investigation into alleged war crimes: On 4 May 2013, it was announced Senegal and Chad have signed an agreement allowing Senegal to carry out an investigation into alleged war crimes committed by former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre in the 1980s. Habre was in power from 1982 until a 1990 military coup. He is accused being responsible for more than 40,000 political killings, torture and other human rights violations. The former dictator has been living under house arrest in Dakar, Senegal, since 1994.
(For additional information on this topic, please click here)
Bemba trial stalls: On 3 May 2013, it was announced once again that the Jean-Pierre Bemba trial at the ICC has stalled, as the defense continues to experience difficulties in getting witnesses to appear before the court. The latest witness failed to appear by video link did as a result of a fear for his security in the country he was based. An ex parte status conference to be attended by the defense, the Registry and the VWU has been scheduled to hear further discussions on the scheduling and the appearance of witnesses.
Kenyatta plans official visit to London: On 5 May 2013, it was confirmed that Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta will be making a three-day official visit to London for a conference on Somalia. Kenyatta is currently facing trial in front of the ICC for allegedly participating in crimes against humanity which occurred during the 2007-2008 Kenyan elections. London has a policy of only essential contact with anyone charged by the ICC.
Saif al-Islam appears in court: On 3 May 2013, it was reported that the son of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi appeared in court in the town of Zintan last Thursday. Saif al-Islam is wanted by the ICC for war crimes charges but the trial in Zintan relates to a matter of national security according to the armed group in Zintan. The ICC lawyer, Australian Melinda Taylor, was herself detained for three weeks after a meeting in which Saif al-Islam is accused of handing over sensitive papers and information. ICC lawyers are skeptical of whether a fair trial can be achieved and consider likely that if convicted, Saif al-Islam will receive the death penalty.
Kenya truth commission: On 3 May 2013, it was announced that a report investigating violence and human rights abuses in Kenya will recommend prosecutions but will retain its primary focus of truth and healing. The Truth Reconciliation and Justice Commission has looked at past injustices going as far back as 1963. Ahmed Sheikh Farah, a member of the commission, says that the mandate of the commission has been to investigate and appropriate action on human rights abuses, politically motivated violence, assassinations, and corruption and land disputes.
Karadzic seeks subpoena for Mladic to testify in war crimes trial: On 18 April 2013, former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sought a subpoena to compel former Serbian Military Chief Ratko Mladic to serve as a defense witness at this upcoming ICTY. Karadzic argues that Mladic may be a key defense witness and can testify that Karadzic was not aware of the plans that lead to the Srebrenica massacre. Karadzic and Mladic, the alleged chief architects of the atrocities committed by Serbs during the Bosnian war, were originally indicted together, but not stand trial separately. Both men are charged with genocide and other war crimes.
HRW says Senussi has not seen a lawyer nor been told his charges: On 17 April 2013, HRW released a statement saying that Abdullah al-Senussi, Muammar Gaddafi’s intelligence chief, had not seen a lawyer nor been informed of his charges since being in Libyan jail. HRW interviewed Senussi on Wednesday; it was the first visit by an international human rights organization to Senussi’s Libyan jail cell. Senussi is suspected to have played a large role in atrocities committed by the Gaddafi regime; he is also wanted by the ICC for crimes against humanity committed during the Libyan uprising in 2011. Libya, which plans to adopt a democratic constitution this year, hopes to try Senussi at home; human rights activists, however, worry that Senussi will not be able to receive a trial that meets international standards.
Kosovo ex-rebel retried for war crimes: On 18 April 2013, the retrial of Fatmir Limaj, a top ethnic Albanian rebel during the 1998-99 Kosovo War and a current politician, and nine associates began. Limaj plead not guilty to charges of torture and killing of Serbs and Albanians at a detention center in Kosovo. The retrial was triggered when the Supreme Court of Kosovo annulled a verdict of a lower court acquitting Limaj and the others. The lower court was annulled because they had wrongfully thrown out the evidence of a guard who worked at the Kosovo detention camp and had left a diary, but was found dead a month before Limaj’s trial was to begin. British judge Malcolm Simmons is the chair of the panel trying Limaj.
Ruto asks ICC to lift attendance requirement: On 18 April 2013, Kenyan Deputy-President William Ruto asked the ICC to lift its demand that requires Ruto to be present at The Hague whenever his trial was on. Ruto is charged by the ICC with crimes against humanity in relation to the 2007-2008 post-election violence in Kenya. Ruto’s attorney proposed that Ruto be in attendance at the opening, closing, judgment, and any hearing which his attendance is expressly requested; the defense further contended that Ruto will always be able to follow the trial via video link. The defense argued that the Rome Statute only states that an accused shall be entitled “to be present at the trial,” but does not state that attendance is mandatory; Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba was authorized by the ICC to be absent from his trial on two occasions. Ruto contends that his proposal would allow him to balance his Kenyan constitutional duties with his personal commitment to cooperate with the ICC.
Footage of Mladic shows him telling Muslims to “survive or perish”: On 19 April 2013, the trial of Ratko Mladic continued. Video footage of Mladic was shown where he told Muslim captives that they could “survive or perish.” Contrarily, the defense showed footage of Dutch General Thom Karemans telling Mladic that the Srebrenica Muslims had smuggled lots of weapons into their enclave. Mladic is charged by the ICTY for genocide, crimes against humanity, and taking international peacekeepers hostage between 1992-1995.
STL president confirms that Lebanon will support STL’s response to witness leak: On 18 April 2013, STL president David Baragwanath, finishing a four day tour of Lebanon, stated that he had received assurances that Lebanon would support the STL’s response to recent witness leaks fully. Last week hackers infiltrated a Lebanese newspaper’s website and posted names of STL witnesses on its frontpage. The STL is investigating the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri; four Hezbollah members have been indicted in the case, but have not been apprehended.
Rwanda and EALA ask for ICTR archive to be transferred to Rwanda: On 18 April 2013, the East African Legislative Assembly supported Rwanda in its effort for ICTR archives to be transferred to Rwanda. The EALA, which is meeting from 16-26 April, has focused on the legacy and implications of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide. For one, the EALA passed a resolution asking the East African Countries summit to call on the UN to establish an International Trust Fund for Survivors of Genocide against the Tutsi.
Indian UN Peacekeepers killed in South Sudan: Approximately 200 armed attackers ambushed a supply convoy in South Sudan today. Five UN peacekeepers and seven civilians were killed. Nine other members of the convoy were injured. The attack occurred in the eastern state of Jonglei, which has been plagued by tribal violence and battles between insurgents and government forces. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called on South Sudan “to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice,” stressing that the killing of peacekeepers constitutes a war crime and is under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.
Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya: Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President of Kenya today in front of more than 60,000 people in a Nairobi stadium. South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni were present for the ceremony, while Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir – who was rumored to be attending – did not show. At 51 years old, Kenyatta is Kenya’s youngest president. He currently faces charges at the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in the violence that occurred in Kenya after their previous elections.
Libya and Egypt appeal ruling blocking extradition of Kadhafi’s cousin: In a Tripoli press conference, Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that “The governments of Libya and Egypt have decided to appeal the Egyptian administrative court’s order against the extradition” of Moamer Kadhafi’s cousin Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam to Libya. Dam was arrested in Cairo last month after the Libyan prosecutor issued an international warrant for his arrest, but the Egyptian court ruled against his extradition. The court found that because Dam was being investigated for alleged war crimes inside Egypt, he should be tried there as opposed to in Libya.
Mladic trial adjourned for medical reasons: International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) Judge Alphons Orie has adjourned the trial of former Bosnian Serb Commander Ratko Mladic because he was unable to be present at trial due to medical reasons. Doctors have advised Mladic, 71, to rest and recover after a medical operation. Mladic faces 11 charges of genocide and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in the deaths of thousands of Muslims during the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the early nineties.