Africa

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Attacks in Sudan Could Be War Crimes, Report Says

This New York Times article addresses the impending humanitarian crisis in South Kordafan and the Blue Nile State, two regions of the Republic of Sudan which share a border with the newly independent South Sudan. According to sources at the UN, the government is ordering the halt of all peacekeeping operations in South Kordafan and the Blue Nile State, and has denied the existence of any sort of humanitarian crisis in conflict-torn regions throughout the country. This lies in direct contradiction to previous statements issued by the United Nations and other international organizations. In recent months, the risk of a humanitarian disaster has escalated, as reports have surfaced about mass-burials and aerial bombings conducted by the Sudanese government against civilians. Faced with uncooperative Sudanese authorities, the International Criminal Court can do little to address the problem that exists in Sudan. Does the international community have a moral obligation to address this issue by using force? What is the role of Western countries as enforcers of humanitarian standards? These questions must be answered if an effective solution is to be reached.

“Attacks in Sudan Could Be War Crimes, Report Says.” New York Times. 14 July 2011. Web. 2 Aug. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/15/world/africa/15sudan.html?_r=2&ref=world>.

 

 

Handbook for Journalists

International courts, like the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), are great assets to international justice. While not directly affiliated with the International Criminal Court, these courts (with the support of the United Nations) bring to justice alleged perpetrators of grave crimes. Rwanda has experienced a huge scale of human rights abuses, which led the ICTR to adopt methods of law enforcement that are more comprehensive and legally binding. The ICTR deals with both military leaders who directly committed crimes and civilian leaders who helped incite the genocide of the Tutsi minority of Rwanda. This article delves into the logistics of the court, which helps create a better understanding of exactly how the court operates.  It provides short biographies of the prosecutors, and links to other information about the tribunal.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. “Handbook for Journalists.” Web. 1 Aug. 2011. <http://www.unictr.org/tabid/68/default.aspx>.



UN Report Calls for Prosecution of Perpetrators of Mass Rape in DR Congo

This United Nations News Service article outlines an important aspect of crimes against humanity: the use of rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  A UN investigation provides evidence that members of the FARDC, the Congolese Army, committed mass rape against women in the Bushani and Kalambahiro regions of the country. This group has apparently been inadvertently provided with support and food rations from MONUSCO, the UN mission in the DRC. In previous weeks, MONUSCO had conducted a training mission with the Congolese military, and supplied Congolese troops with equipment. After this incident was brought to the attention of the UN, authorities issued a statement calling for more stringent control of aid given. This article notes that in order for UN peacekeeping missions to be effective, steps need to be taken to make sure supplies and equipment do not end in the wrong hands. Additionally, the article makes the point that the government of the DRC, as well as the UN Mission, should work towards excluding any alleged perpetrators from entering any security force. Should the international community pressure the DRC or support the International Criminal Court in the investigations of these crimes in this area of current conflict?

“UN Report Calls for Prosecution of Perpetrators of Mass Rape in DR Congo.” UN News Centre. 22 July 2011. Web. 6 Aug. 2011. <http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39120&Cr=democratic&Cr1=congo>.

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