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Transitional Justice Plans Should Include Prosecutions for Grave Crimes

The Congolese human rights minister launched national consultations on a new transitional justice initiative that, if implemented, would help the Democratic Republic of Congo emerge from conflict, address grave human rights violations, and institute…
Women demonstrate for peace in Beni, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, April 23, 2021.
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Prime Minister’s Letter at Odds with Rule of Law

In a deeply unsettling letter made public this week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted the United Kingdom’s strong opposition to the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Palestine investigation. The letter, sent to the Conservative…
ICC permanent premises
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UN General Assembly an Opportunity to Advance War Crimes Court

One year ago, Liberian President George Weah gave hope to victims of brutal crimes committed during the country’s civil wars when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly about pursuing a war crimes court for Liberia. He said consultations…
Liberia's President George Manneh Weah addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 25, 2019.
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Impunity Hampers Sustainable Peace

This week marks 20 years since the end of the Kosovo war. What began as systematic Serbian state oppression led to attacks by an ethnic Albanian armed group, a vicious government response, and 78 days of NATO airstrikes. …
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Nairobi Conference Commits to Greater Efforts to Fight Impunity, Defend Rights

Last week, the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region met in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss “combating impunity and upholding human rights as key contributors to peace and security.” Representatives from the organization’s 12…
Jean Baptiste Nguondija, a resident of Ngbada, Central African Republic, by the grave of his 10 year-old daughter Nathana Poura. Nguondija has lost 5 children since the conflict began in 2013.
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Rights Champion Wrote Definitive Account of Rwandan Genocide

Ten years ago today, our beloved colleague Alison Des Forges died in the crash of Flight 3407 traveling from Newark to her home in Buffalo. Alison had recently been in Uganda to meet with her research team that, to my great fortune,…
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Commanders Behind Kiwanja Killings Never Held to Account

On November 4 to 5, 2008, rebel forces from the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) killed around 150 people, including 14 children, in the town of Kiwanja in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo – one of the region’s…
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Government Pledges Statement on Accountability, but More is Needed

Liberia inched closer to justice for war crimes this week. During an appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva on Monday, the Liberian delegation pledged – for the first time – to issue a public statement on…
Supporters of George Weah attend a meeting during their party's presidential campaign rally at Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia, Liberia December 23, 201
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International Criminal Court Acquits Jean-Pierre Bemba

The International Criminal Court (ICC) appeals chamber last Friday overturned the conviction against Jean-Pierre Bemba, former vice-president of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bemba was the court’s sole prosecution from its…
Former Congo vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba looks up when sitting in the courtroom of the International Criminal Court to stand trial in The Hague, Netherlands, September 29, 2015.
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Countries Commit to Working Within the ICC System

A slew of African countries reaffirmed their backing for the International Criminal Court (ICC) during the past two days, giving much-needed support to the court in the wake of recently announced withdrawals by South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia.  …
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It was just a bolt of pink cotton lying on the floor of a school gym but more than 20 years later, it haunts me still – soldiers tore off strips of that cloth, blindfolded dozens of men, trucked them to a nearby field, shot them, and buried all but a…
Two Bosnian Muslim women cry over a coffin July 10, 2005 with remains of their relative in a factory hall in Potocari where 610 victims of Srebrenica massacre wait for the funeral.
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As the African Union summit closed on January 31, 2016, Kenyan media ignited with reports that the African Union endorsed mass withdrawal of African countries from the International Criminal Court. But the reality is a lot less newsworthy than the main…
A general view shows delegates during the 26th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) at the AU headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, January 31, 2016.
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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When Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, the head of Rwanda’s intelligence services, was brought into the dock of a London court on Thursday, he clasped his hands above his head in a two-fisted salute to the public gallery. Dozens cheered; others looked on in…
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Almost 20 years after Bosnian Serb forces slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) upheld the convictions of five men for genocide for what is considered the worst…
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In a week where torture has been high on the agenda, the second public inquiry (Al Sweady) into alleged British abuses in Iraq has issued its report into allegations of abuse concerning a 2004 incident, finding a mixed picture. Some of the most serious…
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Charles Taylor is staying in prison. A United Nations-backed court today delivered an appeals judgment affirming the original verdict against the former Liberian president, upholding his 50-year sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity…
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Early History (1300s - 1800s)The Belgians (1870s - 1959)Independence (1960 - 1990s)War (1994 - 1999)Failed Peace Efforts (1999 - 2003)Transition (2003 - 2006) A New Government but More Conflict (2006 - ) Early History 1300s The Kongo empire, a highly…
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Human Rights Watch Summary

Role of the indictees: Slobodan Milosevic and the other four indictees planned, instigated, ordered, committed or otherwise aided and abetted the planning, preparation and execution of the campaign undertaken by forces of Yugoslavia and Serbia in Kosovo…
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