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Archive for July, 2010

(CNN) July 15 2010 — Judges at the International Criminal Court have ordered the release of a Congolese militia chief who used child soldiers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s civil war. Sonia Robla, a court spokeswoman, said the decision was rendered Thursday after the prosecution refused to identify the identities of two witnesses during proceedings last week in the case of Thomas Lubanga Dyilo.
Lubanga has been accused of conscripting children under the age of 15 into the Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo and “using them to participate actively in hostilities in Ituri, a district of the eastern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.” The activity is for the period between September 2002 and August 2003. Last week, she said, judges asked the prosecution to release the names of two witnesses. But citing a threat to the security of the witnesses if they disclosed the identities, the prosecution refused. Robla said the judges then imposed a stay of proceedings and ordered Lubanga’s release Thursday.

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July 12, 2010 The Times of India-

UNITED NATIONS: Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, has been slapped with three counts of genocide in Darfur by the International Criminal Court at The Hague.

Last year, an arrest warrant for war crimes and crimes against humanity was issued against the leader of the largest country in Africa. The Court’s pre-trial chamber said that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Bashir is responsible for three counts of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups in the region.

The charges include genocide by killing; genocide by causing serious bodily or mental harm; and genocide by deliberately inflicting conditions of life meant to destroy each target group. The conflict between the ethnic tribes of Darfur and the predominantly Arab government has been persisting for almost ten years.

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July 12, 2010 UPI.com

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, July 12 (UPI) — A Congolese militia leader’s appeal to have the war crimes charges against him dropped was denied Monday by international court judges.

The Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court found that the November decision of the Trial Chamber denying Germain Katanga’s request did not infringe on his right to a fair hearing. The panel said he had been given “adequate notice and opportunity to raise the issue of his alleged unlawful pre-surrender arrest and detention.”

Katanga had filed a motion in June 2009 requesting his detention be declared unlawful and the proceedings against him be stopped. The Trial Chamber rejected that motion in November, saying it was submitted seven months too late.

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12 July 2010 – UN New Centre

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the need to ensure accountability for those involved in the massacre of Muslim men and boys 15 years ago by Bosnian Serb forces after they took over Srebrenica, which was declared a safe haven by the Security Council.

“Until all those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes face those charges and are judged, our quest for justice, and the path towards healing, will remain incomplete,” Mr. Ban said at an event at United Nations Headquarters to honour the victims.

Some 8,000 Muslims were killed by the Bosnian Serb forces who overran Srebrenica, the largest such massacre on European soil since the founding of the UN.

“We recognize the burden of families and loved ones who carry the memories and pain with each step,” said Mr. Ban. “And, we vow, together, never again to allow such an atrocity to happen at any time…in any place.”

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