#GlobalJusticeWeekly - Justice paramount in CAR talks

Around 700 representatives from politics and civil society are meeting in the capital Bangui for a meeting intended to draft a new constitution, pave the way for elections in August, and end the country’s two year-long political and humanitarian crisis.

The International Crisis Group called on participants forum to insist on justice as a prerequisite for reconciliation and to support the work of both the ICC and the CAR special criminal court (in French).

Amnesty International (AI) urged the CAR transitional government to amend clauses in a draft constitution that could perpetuate impunity in the country exempting present and former presidents from prosecution.

Militia groups attending the forum agreed to free all child soldiers and children used as sex slaves or for menial labor.

Investigation into French troops for alleged sex crimes
French prosecutors have ordered an investigation into sexual abuse allegations against French troops in the CAR, while the Central African justice minister said that his country plans on taking legal action against the alleged offenders.

An appeals tribunal ordered the UN to lift the suspension of the employee who leaked the report containing the allegations.

Judges gave Africog permission to file observations related to the decision not to sanction Kenya for non-cooperation in the case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Kenya’s attorney general insisted that Kenya has cooperated with the Court. Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto wasleft out of a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry because of his ICC trial.

The family of a murdered Kenyan journalist suspects he may have been targeted for reporting on the ICC cases.

Sudanese and Arab civil society groups called for an investigation of recent attacks on Darfur students, while Sudanese rebels accused the government of orchestrating the violence.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned that the Sudanese government’s allegedly indiscriminate air attacks in the Nuba Mountains are killing and maiming children.

Democratic Republic of Congo
Bosco Ntaganda’s lawyers appealed against the July 2015 opening of his trial, seeking to have the date postponed. Two UN peacekeepers were killed in an ambush in North Kivu.

Academic Luke Moffett considered the implications of who represents the views of victims in the Dominic Ongwen case.

The ‘final stage’ of the trial of former Gaddafi regime officials will begin on 20 May, according to a Tripoli news station.

Eleven people were killed in a separatist attack on a central Mali town. Jihadists destroyeda mausoleum in central Mali that had been proposed as a UN World Heritage site.

Côte d’Ivoire
The trial of Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé will open on 10 November. The Ivorian government will begin compensating victims of the 2010-11 post-election violence in July.

Preliminary Examinations
Opposition supporters clashed with security forces while protesting the timing of elections in Guinea.

An assembly person threatened to bring the army to the ICC over the alleged killing of around 50 civilians in Southern Plateau, Nigeria. Nigerian troops rescued 25 more women and children from the Boko Haram.

In a report released by an Israeli group, former Israeli soldiers discuss firing artillery at random houses and shooting civilians during last year’s conflict in Gaza. A Saudi Gazette editorial urged the ICC to remain impartial in the Israel-Palestine conflict. ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda rejected Israeli fears of ICC bias and said that she is weighing crimes allegedly committed by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Campaign for Global Justice
The Coalition for the ICC urged the Armenian government to speed up constitutional reforms needed to ratify the ICC Rome Statute.

What else is happening?
HRW’s Elizabeth Evenson and AI’s Jonathan O’Donohue urged states to increase the ICC’s budget or risk hobbling the Court. 

The Coalition for the ICC’s Steve Lamony discussed the benefits of victims’ participation at the ICC. AI warned that Syrian civilians in Aleppo are subjected to war crimes and crimes against humanity on a daily basis. TRIAL published a report on enforcing victims’ compensation claims in war crimes proceedings in Bosnia. 

International law expert Jennifer Trahan considered whether the Court should prosecute allegations of US torture that took place on the territory of ICC member states. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni told the UN that it should respect African solutions to African conflicts instead of pushing justice over peace or referring situations to the ICC without consulting the regions affected.

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