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Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

New York Times, JEFFREY GETTLEMAN and JOSH KRON Aug 31 2010

NAIROBI, Kenya — Rwanda stepped up its threats on Tuesday to withdraw thousands of peacekeepers from Sudan if the United Nations publishes a report that accuses Rwandan forces of massacring civilians and possibly committing genocide in Congo years ago. Rwanda appears to be trying to play hardball with the United Nations and is using the fact that the country plays a linchpin role in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan for maximum leverage. Rwanda has 3,300 peacekeepers in Darfur, and a Rwandan general is in charge of the entire 21,800-strong United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission there.

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Max Fisher August 29, 2010 The Atlantic Wire

A leaked United Nations report on the Rwandan genocide makes the explosive charge that the Rwandan Army, long credited with helping to end the infamous 1994 genocide of ethnic Tutsis, committed hundreds of acts of genocide against ethnic Hutu refugees in 1996-1997. The document, first reported by French newspaper Le Monde, states, “The majority of the victims were children, women, elderly people and the sick, who were often undernourished and posed no threat to the attacking forces.” The report implicates much of Rwanda’s current government, including President Paul Kagame, in joining with Congolese rebels to slaughter Rwandan refugees who had fled to the Congo. Rwanda is challenging the accusations, saying they only attacked members of the Hutu militias responsible for the 1994 genocide. The UN report risks seriously complicating the always-tenuous politics of Central Africa, where Rwanda has become a beacon of stability. Here’s what reporters and Rwanda-watchers have to say about the report.

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AFP

UN Dispatch

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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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CNN

VOA

AFP

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New York Times, Marlise Simons, June 10 2010

PARIS — Judges at The Hague handed down two rare genocide convictions on Thursday, sentencing two security officers for the Bosnian Serb Army to life in prison for their roles in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, the worst single episode in a decade of war that left 100,000 dead and tore the Balkans apart.

The verdicts, along with five other war-crimes convictions, concluded a vast, three-year trial in which many witnesses spoke, at times in horrifying details, of the Serbian capture of the United Nations-protected enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa that held tens of thousand of Bosnian Muslim refugees. The military operation ended with the deportation of thousands of women and children and the execution of close to 8,000 captive men and boys.

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UN ICTY statement: http://www.icty.org/sid/10415

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ICC Warrant a Pain in the Neck for Bashir (The Daily Nation – Kenya)

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir seems to have enjoyed his year as fugitive head of state. Recent boasts and threats would indicate that. A little humility might help.

An interview with German magazine, Der Spiegle, published a week ago today; President Bashir commended the International Criminal Court, ICC. The court last year issued a warrant for his arrest over the Darfur conflict. “My popularity in my home country has unexpectedly multiplied through this warrant.” That’s “a favour which I would never have dreamt of.”

President Bashir remains popular in the North. It’s a different matter in the South. Come next January, the region will hold a referendum on secession or unity with Sudan. Results would provide a better measure of the president’s popularity. Meanwhile, elections for presidencies, national and the south, regional governors, and assemblies, take place next month. International observers irk Mr Bashir.

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Appeals Chamber Judgment 3-2-2010

Al Bashir case: The Appeals Chamber directs Pre-Trial Chamber I to decide anew on the genocide charge

Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

Today, 3 February, 2010, the Appeals Chamber rendered its judgment on the Prosecutor’s appeal, reversing, by unanimous decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I’s decision of 4 March, 2009, to the extent that Pre-Trial Chamber I decided not to issue a warrant of arrest in respect of the charge of genocide. The Appeals Chamber directed the Pre-Trial Chamber to decide anew whether or not the arrest warrant should be extended to cover the charge of genocide.

Judge Kourula, presiding judge on this appeal, delivered a summary of the judgment. The Appeals Chamber explained that it was not concerned with the question of whether Mr Omar Al Bashir is, or is not, responsible for the crime of genocide. Rather, the Appeals Chamber addressed a question of procedural law, namely whether the Pre-Trial Chamber applied the correct standard of proof when disposing of the Prosecutor’s application for an arrest warrant.

In its 4 March, 2009, decision, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of genocide stating that it would issue an arrest warrant for genocide only if the only reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the Prosecutor’s evidence, based on “proof by inference”, was that there were reasonable grounds to believe in the existence of genocidal intent. The Appeals Chamber found that demanding that the existence of genocidal intent must be the only reasonable conclusion amounts to requiring the Prosecutor to disprove any other reasonable conclusions and to eliminate any reasonable doubt. The Appeals Chamber found this standard of proof to be too demanding at the arrest warrant stage, which is governed by article 58 of the Rome Statute. This amounted to an error of law.

Although the Appeals Chamber reversed the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision, the Appeals Chamber rejected the Prosecutor’s request to make a finding that there were reasonable grounds to believe that Omar Al Bashir acted with genocidal intent, as this is a matter to be determined in a new decision by the Pre-Trial Chamber, using the correct standard of proof.

Background information

Pre-Trial Chamber I issued, on 4 March, 2009, the “Decision on the Prosecution’s Application for a Warrant of Arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir”. In its decision, the Pre-Trial Chamber issued a warrant of arrest against Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir for crimes against humanity and war crimes, but rejected the Prosecutor’s application in respect of the crime of genocide.

On 6 July, 2009, the Prosecutor filed an appeal against this decision. The Appeals Chamber granted the Sudan Workers Trade Unions Federation and the Sudan International Defence Group leave to make submissions as amicus curiae. Eight victims were also authorised to present submissions to the Appeals Chamber.

The situation in Darfur was referred to the International Criminal Court by the United Nations Security Council’s resolution 1593, on 31 March, 2005. In this situation, three cases are being heard: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (“Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”)The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir; and The Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu Garda.

The International Criminal Court is the only permanent international court established with the mission to help put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole, namely the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes.

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CNN International Feb 3 2010

Judges at the International Criminal Court ruled Wednesday that Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir may be charged with genocide for his role in a five-year campaign of violence in western Sudan’s Darfur region.

Al-Bashir, who remains in office, has already been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo had the genocide charge on his original arrest warrant for al-Bashir, but the pre-trial judges left off the charge when they approved the warrant last March.

Moreno-Ocampo appealed in July, saying that the judges’ standard for adding the genocide charge was too high. The appellate court agreed with Moreno-Ocampo and ruled in his favor Wednesday.

The appeals judges said the pre-trial chamber had applied an “erroneous standard of proof” to the genocide charge.

The judges said they were not ruling on whether al-Bashir should be charged with genocide — only whether the charge could be added to the arrest warrant. They said it will be up to the pre-trial chamber to determine whether to add the charge to the warrant, which could take several weeks.

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Huffington Post

New York Times

Reuters

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