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Eighteen years ago, in February 2003, Human Rights Watch interviewed Angela P, who was 10 years old when the brutal armed group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) kidnapped her in northern Uganda. At age 15,  she was forced to become a “wife” to an LRA…
Dominic Ongwen at his confirmation of charges hearing in ICC courtroom I on 21 January 2016 © ICC-CPI.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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President Barack Obama’s second presidential visit to Africa kicks off in Senegal, with stops in South Africa and Tanzania. This is a good regional mix highlighting the development and governance successes that are likely to be main themes of his trip.…
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The candidates may disagree on some human rights issues, but the next president will face challenges that transcend partisan lines. How might tomorrow's presidential election affect U.S. policy on human rights? The common wisdom is that unlike their sharp…
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The African Union last month announced a plan to improve coordination to end atrocities by Joseph Kony’s Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). Efforts to arrest Kony and other LRA leaders wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC)…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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In the past week, a 30-minute video about Joseph Kony and his rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has received more than 90 million internet hits. Viewers of the video now know, if they didn’t before, that he is a wanted man with much blood on…
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As more than 50 million viewers on YouTube of the Kony 2012 viral video now know, Joseph Kony, founder and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a wanted man with the blood of many people on his hands. We’ve spent years investigating the horrors…
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Before he was arrested last year in Uganda on terrorism charges, Al Amin Kimathi was hailed as an outspoken activist who challenged East African governments to conduct lawful counterterrorism operations. The Kenyan human rights defender had gone to Uganda…
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In the 1990s, the United States, though hardly perfect, did more than any other country to promote the responsibility to protect people facing mass atrocities. In Bosnia and Kosovo, though tragically not Rwanda, leaders learned that the slaughter of their…
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The Promise of Kampala's International Criminal Court Review Conference

At the International Criminal Court (ICC) review conference last month in Kampala, negotiations to add the crime of aggression to the court’s docket topped the agenda. The crime of initiating offensive warfare had been prosecuted after World War II. But…
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Respect for the rule of law is one of the founding principles of the African Union (AU). It should therefore come as no surprise that African states make up the largest regional membership bloc of the International Criminal Court (ICC), whose mission is…
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The  former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano will give his final briefing to the United Nations Security Council on July 15  in his role as the secretary-general's special envoy for the areas of east and central Africa affected by the Lord's…
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On June 11, 2009 the military chiefs of Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic met in Kisangani, Congo, to discuss operations against the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). The brutal Ugandan leaders of the rebel LRA, wanted by the…
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The pace of proceedings is quickening at the International Criminal Court. On July 3, Jean-Pierre Bemba, the former vice president of Congo charged with war crimes, arrived in custody in The Hague. And today, July 14, the ICC prosecutor is expected to…
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Diplomats, judges, lawyers, human rights activists and members of nongovernmental organizations are currently marking the 10th anniversary of the completion of the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. The court's creation was an…
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The resumption of the Juba talks on April 26 renews the chance for an end to the horrific 20 year conflict in the north. But to achieve this much needed peace, the warring parties and the mediators cannot bargain away prosecution of the LRA leaders who…
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Bringing to justice those who commit atrocities has obvious appeal. It provides redress for victims and their families, punishes perpetrators, and deters others from replicating their crimes. But is the price too high? Critics argue that the threat of…
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Africa is becoming less safe for dictators and warlords. Facing growing pressure to step aside, Charles Taylor, the warlord-cum- President of Liberia, finally left Monrovia for exile on August 11. Besieged by rebels, indicted by Sierra Leone’s Special…