23 December 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on International Criminal Justice


Tigray: Hundreds of civilians reported killed in artillery strikes, warns UN rights chief
UN News, 22 Dec 2020

Reports of artillery strikes on civilians and mass killings of non-combatants in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, must be investigated and full access granted to independent investigators, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday. 

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UN probe in Mali sees war crimes, crimes against humanity: Report
Al Jazeera, 22 Dec 2020

United Nations investigators into violence in Mali have told the Security Council of evidence that security forces committed war crimes, and fighters and other armed groups perpetrated crimes against humanity. The allegations were made in a 338-page report by the International Commission of Inquiry for Mali, a three-member panel which investigated violence that unfolded over six years from 2012-2018.

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Trump claims Israel-Morocco deal brings peace, but in reality it could spark war
NBC News, 22 Dec 2020

In fact, this supposed peace deal has ruptured decades of U.S. foreign policy in North Africa, and it sets the stage for more violent conflict, not less. That's because Trump, in a transparent quid pro quo with Morocco, agreed to officially recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara despite decades of international consensus that the territory's status had to be peacefully resolved by a referendum.

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Statement of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, ahead of elections in the Central African Republic: “The peaceful course of elections in the Central African Republic is essential to prevent cycles of violence.”
International Criminal Court , 18 Dec 2020

In the course of the investigations my Office has been conducting since 2014, I have witnessed first-hand the Central African people's committed efforts in the pursuit of sustainable peace in the country, including during my most recent visit to Bangui. I have been closely following developments in the country, and I am troubled by public reports and information about increased tensions and the potential of escalating violence ahead of the upcoming elections. I call for calm and restraint from all parties, armed groups, political actors and their supporters, and others. The peaceful course of elections in the Central African Republic is essential to prevent cycles of violence.

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Conflict Zones in the Time of Coronavirus: War and War by Other Means
Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, 17 Dec 2020

The coronavirus has devastated fragile and conflict-affected states, exacerbating suffering and, in some cases, shifting power dynamics in ways that are likely to influence politics or the conflicts even when the pandemic subsides.

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Beyond the ICC: Repositioning the Core of International Accountability
Just Security , 16 Dec 2020

Most often, the fight for justice occurs a considerable distance away from the “Hague bubble” in which the priorities and perceptions of those most directly affected risk being relegated to the margins. This observation is not merely a conversation about “complementarity”, or the division of labor between international and national jurisdictions — even national courts are often inaccessible to survivors. Rather, it is a more profound reflection on meaningful victim-centered conceptions of justice that are often lost in institutional design and professional cultural sensibilities – an assertion that the views of survivors matter.

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