UN Peacekeepers Murdered on Duty Die in Obscurity

In the early morning of Tuesday, April 3, 2018, a temporary United Nations peacekeeping base in the village of Tagbara, in the Central African Republic, was attacked by rebel militia groups. One peacekeeper was killed and 11 others were injured in the fighting. Soon after, the UN also discovered the bodies of 21 civilians, including … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Is Global Cooperation Over? Midwesterners Assess the Trends

We stand on the shoulders of those who created the international order, which has prevented world war for more than 70 years. “American leaders who laid foundations of the contemporary world order envisioned a world in which all peoples might pursue shared peace, prosperity and dignity. They hoped to forge a global community under the … Read more

Checking on the Health of the International Criminal Court

THE HAGUE — At the glassy, eco-minded new building of the International Criminal Court here in the Netherlands’ capital, people who are being tried may still be called “detainees,” but make no mistake: they remain accused of such atrocities as murder, torture and child-soldier recruitment as well as gang-raping women and girls. It’s business as … Read more

South African Decision to Quit the ICC Draws Critics in Africa and Beyond

South Africa’s announcement on Oct. 21 that it intends to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, which has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, has met strong opposition from civil society groups in that country and other African and international human-rights organizations. Africa has played major roles in the independent court, which … Read more

Palestinians Sign the International Court Treaty, Hoping to See Israel Tried

The Palestinians have deposited copies of the legal instruments to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the world’s single permanent judicial body to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. If Palestine is accepted as a member of the court, it will be the 123rd state party to do so. Until now, Palestine … Read more

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Palestinians Move Fast to Join the ICC as Bid for Full Statehood Fails at the UN

The Palestinians’ failed proposal to formally establish a state and end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by late 2017 through a vote in the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 30 continued to reflect the immense influence of the United States on the Palestinians’ ability to assert themselves through the world body. The vote … Read more

New Protocols and Policies Tackle Sexual Violence in War

As Sunni Muslim extremists first seized strategic cities in Iraq last week, and a United Nations spokesman for the human-rights high commissioner, Navi Pillay, said that rapes had been part of the mayhem, leaving four female victims dead from suicide, the first global conference to end such heinous crimes took place in London. There, foreign … Read more

Congolese Rebel Leader Faces Broad Charges of Sex Crimes

Bosco Ntaganda

The first step to possibly try Bosco Ntaganda, a Congolese warlord born in Rwanda, for war crimes and crimes against humanity, began recently at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Ntaganda, who turned himself in to the court last year by going to the United States Embassy in Rwanda, allegedly committed the crimes as … Read more

ICC Prosecutor Asks to Postpone Trial Against Kenyan President

Kenyatta, president of Kenya

Fatou Bensouda, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, has asked for a three-month postponement in the trial for the case against the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta. The trial, already postponed several times, was to have started on Feb. 5, 2014. Kenyatta was accused of being an indirect co-perpetrator … Read more

The International Criminal Court Fends Off ‘Ferocious’ Attack, Prosecutor Says

Fatou Bensouda, ICC prosecutor

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor – Fatou Bensouda – was busy in New York this week, rallying support for the court on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly annual debate. The Gambia native, who succeeded Luis Moreno-Ocampo, an Argentine, to head the  prosecutor’s office, talked exclusively to PassBlue about her work … Read more

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Nobody Wants This Bosnian Serb War Criminal

Radislav Krstic

Radislav Krstic was indicted on Oct. 30, 1998, by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for his role in the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Krstic was the deputy commander and chief of staff of the Bosnian Serb Army from October 1994 to July 1995, when he was promoted to major general … Read more

UN War Crimes Archives Trove Released to International Court

Nuremberg trial

The International Criminal Court has just acquired a huge trove of nearly all the unrestricted records of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and is now making them available to the public. The records include more than 2,240 documents, totaling about 22,000 pages of meeting minutes, working documents, research documents and war crimes trial reports … Read more

Rape as a Weapon of War? It’s Still in Business

Security Council meets on women, peace and security: June 24, 2013

The newest United Nations Security Council resolution that continues to build a stronger framework to prevent and end sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations sends a strong signal that such offenses will be punished as war crimes under international law. The resolution, agreed by a unanimous vote after difficult negotiations, passed on June 24 … Read more

Notorious African Rebel Lands in International Court Hands

Bosco Ntaganda

Bosco Ntaganda, whom the United States calls “one of the most notorious and brutal rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” has arrived at the International Criminal Court in The Hague after being transported by court officials from Rwanda. Ntaganda is a Congolese warlord who has been operating with impunity in eastern Congo on … Read more

Guatemala’s Role on the Security Council, as Viewed by Its Ambassador

Gert Rosenthal, Guatemala's ambassador to the UN

Gert Rosenthal does not sound like a Spanish name, but the mother of Rosenthal, the Guatemalan ambassador to the United Nations, was born there and his father was German. To complicate matters, “a little accident happened,” he said, as his parents, Florence and Ludwig, left Germany in the 1930s, and Rosenthal was born in Amsterdam. … Read more

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The International Court Judge’s Fight for Justice

Judge Song of the ICC

  The president of the International Criminal Court, Judge Sang-Hyun Song, told a Columbia University audience recently that a major challenge facing the court is what he called a steady lack of political support from the United Nations Security Council and UN member states. “We need a far more consistent and vigilant approach by the … Read more

Rape in War: It’s Not a Given Any Longer

Women at the Stop Rape in Conflict Now campaign in Cartagena, Colombia

One of Fatou Bensouda‘s missions as the new chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court is to make rape during conflicts a thing of the past. Until 20 years ago, she said in a speech at the United Nations recently, sexual violence and other sexual attacks were “all but ignored and dismissed as regrettable but … Read more

A Rerun of History in Eastern Congo Threatens Kinshasa Again

Monusco, UN peacekeepers in Congo

Less than two decades ago, this is what happened to a huge African country once known as Zaire: Rebels backed by Rwanda’s recently installed, ethnic Tutsi-led government moved out of their strongholds in the eastern flank of the country and advanced toward the Zairian national capital, Kinshasa, and overthrew the central government. To Rwandan Tutsi, … Read more

Congo Miners See Hope While Rebels Sow Unrest

Congo miner

Important progress in controlling the mining of tin, tantalum and tungsten in the troubled eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo has been achieved, says a report from the Enough Project, a Washington nonprofit group focused on Africa. Yet renewed fighting that began in the spring between regional militias and Congolese national troops, who are … Read more

WORLDVIEWS

Can Making Amends to Victims of Atrocities Actually Help?

Meeting with Muslim women in Bangui, CAR

The conclusion of the International Criminal Court’s first trial this summer was duly noted in global media and political circles. Yet little attention was paid to the equally landmark move by the court mandating reparations for victims of the atrocities committed by the man who was sentenced for the war crimes case, Thomas Lubanga of … Read more

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