#GlobalJustice Weekly - Can UN action prevent another Srebrenica in Aleppo?

One of Syria's White Helmet volunteers carries a girl at a site hit by airstrikes. Photograph: Syria Civil Defense.

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The UN Security Council today unaminously passed a resolution to deploy UN observers to monitor evacuations and report on the fate of civilians in the war-torn city of Aleppo. France’s UN ambassador described the agreement, backed by veto-wielding power Russia, as a tool to avoid another civilian massacre such as experienced in the town of Srebrenica in the former Yugoslavia in 1995. Implementation is now crucial say observers. 

While a ceasefire negotiated by Russia and Turkey last week promised an end to what the UN called a "complete meltdown of humanity" as pro-Syrian regime forces conducted an all-out assault on dwindling rebel strongholds in eastern Aleppo, civilians in desperate need of humanitarian corridors to safely escape the besieged city have reportedly found evacuation routes blocked.

The French-backed UN compomise resolution was arrived at following threats by permanent Council member Russia to reject an earlier draft. Russia has previously vetoed six resolutions on justice and peace for Syria – including one in early December demanding an immediate ceasefire in Aleppo. In 2014, Russia vetoed a referral of the situation in Syria, a non-ICC member state, to the International Criminal Court. 

Read more on opinions for accountability for Syria: Syria war crimes: a guide for navigating the legal minefield, IRIN News

 

ICC Investigations

Uganda: "Only justice could make us feel alive again" - week one of the Dominic Ongwen trial

Central African Republic II: Despite peaceful elections and legitimate government, limited state authority means women, men, girls, boys continue to suffer arbitrary killings, sexual violence, and other abuses, UN reports

Darfur, Sudan: ICC calls on South Africa to explain lack of cooperation in arresting Omar al-Bashir in unprecedented public hearing set for April 2017

Democratic Republic of Congo: Trial of Congolese militia warlord Bosco Ntaganda goes on winter recess after sexual violence expert witness testifies

Kenya: Is threat of withdrawal a bargaining chip to secure better outcome in decision by ICC member states on Kenya's non-cooperation with 2007-8 post-election violence cases?

 

ICC Preliminary Examinations

Colombia: Pardons apply to political crimes, not to killings and rape, minister assures as Government pardons 110 FARC rebels as part of revised peace deal

Gabon: Opposition leader Jean Ping sends case file to ICC prosecutor, accusing government of crimes against humanity following August elections

Nigeria: Pattern of violent repressive conduct by authorities against minority Shia group may violate constitution and international human rights law, raises questions about country's commitment to military reform

Ukraine: European Union extends sanctions against Russia for lack of progress in implementing political resolution to armed conflict between Ukrainian government and Russia-backed separatists

 

Campaign for Global Justice

ICTJ argues South Africa's persisting post-withdrawal Rome Statute obligations to cooperate with al-Bashir arrest and surrender - and with all cases arising while an ICC member state

Attending ICC trial opening in case against former Lord's Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen a bright moment for affected community representatives from northern Uganda

The Enough Project and Not On Our Watch have launched a new partnership called The Sentry to prevent genocide in South Sudan through financial investigations. Contribute to the initiative now so that investigators can track and freeze national assets stolen by those responsible for conflict in the country, ensuring that they and their international backers cannot hide evidence of their atrocities behind the international financial system.

 

Around the World

Tensions high in The Gambia as troops take over electoral commission in wake of incumbent President Jammeh's rejection of defeat to reportedly pro-ICC Barrow; ECOWAS issues deadline to resolve crisis

Experts: surrendering ISIS fighters could face war crimes charges - possibly by ICC with UN Security Council support - for destruction of Iraq heritage sites

UN Security Council approves one-year extension of mission in South Sudan as rights commission assesses early warning signs of ethnic civil war and mass atrocities, calls on African Union and South Sudan to immediately establish hybrid court

As conflict grows, International Crisis group calls on Myanmar to reverse longstanding discrimination against Muslim minority, moderate military tactics, and reach out to Muslim allies.

Did Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte admit to personally killing criminal suspects as mayor of Davao?

 

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