Former Anti-Drug Police Chief Arrested on Drug Charges

By R. Renee Yaworsky
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

Sanabria was arrested at Washingtons request. (Photo courtesy of Daily Mail)
Sanabria was arrested at Washington's request. (Photo courtesy of Daily Mail)

LA PAZ, Bolivia—A fourth senior officer in Bolivia was arrested Thursday to the embarrassment of President Evo Morales.  The former head of Bolivia’s anti-narcotics police was arrested in Panama at Washington’s request and will be facing drug charges in the United States.

Rene Sanabria, a retired police general, has been charged in the U.S. with allegedly running a cocaine trafficking ring.  According to a U.S. official, Sanabria had his first federal court appearance on Friday in Miami, Florida.  Three other senior officers have been arrested as well.

Sanabria was once a senior official at the Interior Ministry and the top man at the FELCN counter-narcotics police from 2007-2008.  In 2009 he was appointed chief of the Center of Intelligence and Information Generation.

Felipe Caceres, Bolivia’s deputy minister for social defense, expressed satisfaction about the arrests and said, “In the coming days we are going to arrest everyone (involved) and bring them to justice.”  According to Caceres, Sanabria operated an intelligence center comprised of 15 officials, most of them police officers.

President Morales has said that he has zero tolerance for cocaine trafficking.  Three years ago he expelled American counter-narcotics agents from the country, saying they incited his opponents.  Morales was once a coca growers union leader and has promoted traditional uses of coca during his presidency.

Morales’ opponents, such as opposition legislator Andres Ortega, have called the arrests “a very clear signal that drug trafficking has deeply infiltrated the Interior Ministry.”

Bolivia is the world’s third largest cocaine producer; Colombia and Peru rank first and second.  The United Nations has reported that Bolivia’s coca cultivation was 119 square miles in 2009. U.S. and Colombian officials have reported that without the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s help, traffickers from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and elsewhere operate with impunity in Bolivia.

For more information, please see:

Daily Mail-Former head of Bolivia’s drugs police is sent to U.S. to face cocaine trafficking charges-28 February 2011 Bolivian drug chief Rene Sanabria arrested-28 February 2011

Canadian Press-Former Bolivian counterdrug police chief arrested as alleged head of narco ring-27 February 2011


By Erica Laster                                                                                                                        Impunity Watch Reporter, North America

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Concern surrounds the safety of human rights activists after Josefina Reyes Salazar was shot dead earlier this year.  On Friday, three more relatives of the slain activist were found dead near a gas station in Ciudad Juarez.  This brings the total number of Salazar’s relatives found slain to 5.  Salazar was a widely known activist and protester of human rights abuses by the Mexican military who have been deployed to fight crime. 

Activists remember Josefina Reyes Salazaar.  Photo courtesy of
Activists remember Josefina Reyes Salazaar. Photo courtesy of

Amnesty International has urged greater protection for activists since the murders.  A participant in the “Forum on Militarization and Repression,” Salazar aided in examining reports of citizens who claimed human rights violations were committed by members of the Mexican military. 

According to an eyewitness, in early January 2010, Salazar was seized outside of a shop in the town of Guadalupe by a group of armed gunmen.  One of them reportedly stated “You think you are tough because you are with the organizations.”  After Salazar fought back to avoid being abducted, she was shot in the head.

Authorities believe another female activist, Cipriana Jurado, is also at risk.

Since 2007, violence linked to drugs and organized crime has increased dramatically.  President Calderon has dispatched over 50,000 units of federal police and military personnel to secure the safety of all citizens and contain the violence.  Ciudad Juarez has remained among the most heavily infected areas.

This past February 15, the home Josefina Salazar’s mother was torched and burned down by unkkown assailants.  

On Friday, Elijah and Malena Reyes Salazar, Louise Ornelas Soto were murdered. The victims had been missing a total of 18 days before their bodies were found at a gas station in Juarez.  Two other relatives, including Salazar’s brother were also murdered following Salazar’s death. 

Social activist Malu Garcia has also been the victim of violent attacks.  Unknown assailants burned Garcia’s house while she attend a protest against abuses being committed by the Mexican military in Ciudad Juarez. 

Amnesty International believes members of the Coordination of Civil Society Organizations,  a local Ciudad Juarez group composed of activists and supporters of investigation into abuses, may also be targets of various gangs and attacks.

“The authorities must ensure that Cipriana Jurado, and other human rights defenders with the Coordination of Civil Society Organization in Ciudad Juárez, receive immediate and effective protection,” stated Kerrie Howard, Amnesty International’s deputy director of the Americas Programme.

For more information please visit:

Amnesty International – Mexico Urged to Protect Activists After Campaigner Shot Dead – 6 January 2010

CNN –3 More Relatives of Slain Activist Found Dead in Mexico – 25 February 2010

Washington Post – Suspect Arrested in Shootings Outside Mexico City – 17 February 2010

Banned Cluster Bombing Adds to Heated Border Tensions

David L. Chaplin II
Impunity Watch, Asia

PREAH VIHEAR, Cambodia – A day after the United Nations security council urged the two sides to exercise restraint, there have been further clashes on the disputed border with Cambodia and Thailand.

Thailand, Cambodia trade accusations of cluster-bomb use
Thailand, Cambodia trade accusations of cluster-bomb use

Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, the current head of the Council, called on both sides “to display maximum restraint and avoid any action that may aggravate the situation”.

On Monday, Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Thailand’s Kasit Piromya appeared before the United Nations Security Council to set out their respective positions.

Sunai Pasuk, a representative for Human Rights Watch in Thailand, says the U.N. will provide a forum for debate over the clashes, and could help determine human rights violations.

“But the basis for conflict resolution is still within bilateral process,” noted Sunai. “A presentation at the U.N. Security Council will be an opportunity to both Thailand and Cambodia to further allegations of human rights violations to international laws as the use of cluster ammunitions can only be resolved with independent observation of the affected area.”

“Members of the Security Council urge the parties to establish a permanent ceasefire and to implement it fully,” she said.

Both countries have accused the other of using banned cluster bombs in the fighting.

The conflict had intensified around the 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple.

The temple is home to four days of clashes this month in which 11 people died.

Both sides have claimed the UN statement supports their position. Cambodia went into the meeting calling for a permanent ceasefire, and Thailand, which regards the dispute as a purely bilateral issue, welcomed the UN’s decision not to become more actively involved.

In 1962 the grounds of the temple itself were awarded to Cambodia by the International Court of Justice, but it is the 4.6 sq km of nearby territory, a main access route, and remains in dispute.

Thailand has blamed the UN decision to list the temple as a World Heritage site in 2008 for inflaming the current tensions.

The armies of both governments remain on alert as thousands on both sides were forced to flee their homes.

In Thailand, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva says the temple should be de-listed as a United Nations Scientific and Educations Organization World Heritage site.

Mr. Abhisit says doing so and scrapping a proposed Cambodian management plan would defuse the border conflict. However, Cambodia is expected to oppose the idea.

By the time the armies of Thailand and Cambodia end their battle for Preah Vihear, an 11th century temple on the border between the two countries, there may be nothing left to fight over, as many reports have it.

For weeks, there have been protesting in Bangkok, espousing hate speech against Cambodians and issuing a set of extremist demands that include a Thai boycott off the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and the use of military force to evict Cambodian villagers from the disputed area.

It isn’t clear yet whether the U.N. Security Council will take up the conflict, and if it does, how quickly it will proceed.

For more information, please see:

TIME – Thailand and Cambodia’s Battle for an Ancient Temple – 7 February 2011

Voice of America – Thailand, Cambodia Border Fight Moves to UN – 11 February 2011

Financial Times – Thailand accuses Cambodia of fresh attack – 15 February 2011

U.N. Sanctions Libyan Officials and Calls for ICC Investigation

By Daniel M. Austin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Africa

U.N. Security Council votes for sanctioning Libya. (Photo courtesy of Montreal Gazette).
U.N. Security Council votes for sanctioning Libya. (Photo courtesy of Montreal Gazette).

NEW YORK CITY, United States of America – On Saturday, members of the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose sanctions on Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, members of his immediate family, and high ranking officials in his regime for their role in the violent crackdown on government protesters. The council also approved a measure to investigate possible international war crimes and crimes against humanity for the unlawful killing of civilians over the last few weeks.

Contained in the resolution are several key provisions which ban international travel for Libyan government officials as well as a directive to freeze the assets of Libya’s leaders. Specifically, this declaration is directed at Mr. el-Qaddafi, his four sons, his daughter, and 10 prominent government officials.  Furthermore, this resolution provides for an arms embargo against the Libyan government.

According to the United States representative to the United Nations, Susan Rice, this resolution sends a “clear warning to the Libyan government that it must stop the killing.” The United Nations estimates that more than 1,000 civilians have been killed in attacks throughout the country since the uprising began.

Initially, Security Council members disagreed about whether to refer Mr. el-Qaddafi and other officials to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. However, the atmosphere changed when the Libyan delegation and its U.N. representative Abdurrahman Shalgam sent a letter to the Security Council president, Ambassador Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti of Brazil supporting the war crimes investigation by the ICC. Mr. Shalgam’s voice was crucial in helping this portion of the resolution pass.

This was only the second time the U.N. Security Council has recommended a member nation be investigated by the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes or crimes against humanity. The quickness with which this resolution was taken up and passed was surprising. Reports from the U.N. Security Council chambers claim the representative are deeply concerned about violence directed at civilians and members were focused on drafting a resolution that effectively deals with this crisis.

Saturday’s resolution comes a day after the United States government unilaterally froze billions of dollars of assets belonging to the Libyan government as well as property belonging to several Libyan officials. According to President Barack Obama, he signed the executive order because the violence and instability has become “an unusual and extraordinary threat” to the security of the United States and their foreign policy objectives.

For more information, please see:

BBC — Libya: UN Security Council votes sanctions on Gaddafi—27 February 2011

New York Times — Security Council Calls for War Crimes Inquiry in Libya – 26 February 2011

The Telegraph — We must stand ready to intervene in Libya – 27 February 2011

Voice of America News– UN Security Council Imposes Sanctions on Libyan Leaders – 26 February 2011

Former Serbian Official Convicted For War Crimes In Kosovo

By Christina Berger
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — A former senior Serbian police official was convicted Wednesday by a UN tribunal for his part in the “campaign of terror” against Kosovans in 1999. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) sentenced Vlastimir Ðorðevic to 27 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

During the conflict in 1999, Ðorðevic was an assistant internal affairs minister and the head of the public security department–the equivalent of chief of police in many countries–as well as a close aid to former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. Ðorðevic was found guilty of taking part in a “joint criminal enterprise” in 1999 along with officials such as Milosevic in order to change the ethnic balance of Kosovo by engaging in a “widespread campaign of terror and violence.”

This campaign of terror included murdering, deporting, and forcibly transferring ethnic Albanians, many of which were civilians. The court found Ðorðevic to be responsible for the murder of “not less than 724 Kosovo Albanians” who were murdered by Serbian forces. The court found that “[i]n the large majority of cases the victims, including many women and children, were civilians, who were unarmed and not in any way participating in any form of armed conflict.”

Ðorðevic asserted that he had no control over the responsible Serbian forces and instead he oversaw operations geared toward the “terrorists” of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The court rejected these claims, finding that Ðorðevic’s participation in the joint criminal enterprise was “crucial to its success” and that Ðorðevic exercised “effective control” over the Serbian police forces who committed the crimes.

The court cited examples to show that the Serbian police forces’ conduct was not part of any police operation to find and arrest terrorists. In March of 1999, Serbian polices forces shot and burned 114 men and boys. On that same day in another city, the police killed 45 members of one family. Serbian police forces also lined up 19 women and children and shot them.

Ðorðevic was also found responsible for the mass deportation and forcible transfer of over 200,000 Kosovo Albanians, though according to the court that number is a conservative estimate and the true numbers are likely much higher. The presiding judge stated that “Kosovo Albanians left Kosovo because they were specifically ordered to do so by Serbian forces, or because the conduct of Serbian forces caused them to leave, in particular by shelling, shooting, killing and by burning houses and other buildings in their villages, towns and cities.”

Additionally, the court found that Ðorðevic played a “key role” in concealing the killings of Kosovo Albanians. Ðorðevic directed a coordinated operation to remove evidence of the killings committed by Serbian forces by transporting the bodies in trucks and burying them in mass graves. In 2001, 744 individuals were exhumed from a mass grave near Belgrade.

The ICTY has indicted 161 persons for serious violations of humanitarian law committed in the former Yugoslavia from 1991-2001. Proceedings against 125 have concluded. Ðorðevic is the eighth former senior Serbian official to be tried by the tribunal, and the sixth to be convicted.

Following Ðorðevic’s conviction on Wednesday, Amnesty International called on Serbian officials to continue investigating. The Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme said, “Amnesty International welcomes the conviction of Vlastimir Ðorðevic, but calls on the Serbian authorities to redouble their efforts to ensure that all police officers and others suspected of the murder of ethnic Albanians and involvement in the cover-up operation, are brought to justice.”

For more information, please see:

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL — Serbia must pursue others after Kosovo murders conviction — 24 Feb. 2011

UN NEWS CENTRE — UN tribunal convicts former Serbian police official for crimes in Kosovo — 23 Feb. 2011

ICTY PRESS RELEASE — Vlastimir Đorđević Convicted for Crimes in Kosovo — 23 Feb. 2011

AFP — Serb police general gets 27 years for Kosovo ‘terror‘ — 23 Feb. 2011

BBC — Serbian police chief jailed over Kosovo murders — 23 Feb. 2011

UPDATE – Protests Gain Strength in Yemen and Bahrain

By Eric C. Sigmund
Impunity Watch Reporter, Middle East

MANAMA, Bahrain – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis continue to hold Pearl Roundabout in the heart of country’s capital, weeks after small bands of protesters took to the streets demanding political reform.  Anti-government rallies continue to draw large numbers despite last week’s clashes with security forces that left at least seven dead.   Friday’s protests brought out over 100,000 people into the streets of Manama. In a move to appease opposition forces, the King has reshuffled his cabinet and promised to reduce housing loans by 25 percent.   The King pledged “to engage in this new process” and “move away from polarization.”  The military has also been ordered to stand down.  Despite these moves, tensions between Sunni and Shiite groups continue to rise. 

Protests Continue in Bahrain and Yemen (Photo Courtesy of CNN)
Protests Continue in Bahrain and Yemen (Photo Courtesy of CNN)

Moderate Shiites have been at the forefront of the protests in Bahrain. The protests represent a challenge to Sunni minority currently in power.  While pressure from citizens has caused the King to shake up the country’s leadership, opposition leaders contend that the changes were “superficial” and unlikely to bridge the gap between the two groups.  The government also released 308 political prisoners.  Direct talks between Sunni and Shiite parties however, continue to be untenable.  “This change is very superficial and doesn’t send good messages—it’s a case of old habits die hard as they’re patronizing the opposition to accept minimal change. The people are too sophisticated for this now: it won’t work,” states Ebrahim Sharif, director of the National Democratic Action Society.  Until opposition forces realize meaningful reforms, protests will likely continue within Bahrain.

Protests in Yemen rage on in spite of violent crackdowns by security forces as citizens seek the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.  The protests have been led largely by students and 27 people have lost their lives since the protests began in the country.  The President contends that he has received support from sheikhs and local officials and has resisted any move to divest him of power.   The government has been silent about the death of protesters but the President has announced that he will not run for re-election at the end of his term. 

Yemen continues to suffer high rates of unemployment, government corruption and lacks many substantive political freedoms.   And while protesters continue to battle for freedom and political reform, the country faces another battle for survival against Islamic militants and al-Qaeda.  With the government and the population split, the current situation presents a prime opportunity for Islamic terrorists to recruit additional fighters and solidify their power in tribal and less developed regions of the country.   Commenting on this risk, one protestor criticized the government’s propagation of the terrorist threat to acquire foreign aid to combat terrorism stating that “we are here to show the world that [President Saleh] is the terrorist.”

For more information please see:

CNN World – Bahrain King Reshuffles Cabinet As Opposition Leader Returns – Feb. 26, 2011

CNN World- Tribal Groups Joining Protests against Yemeni President – Feb. 26, 2011

International Business Times – Huge Anti-Government Protests Sweep across Yemen – Feb. 26, 2011

The Wall Street Journal – Protests Build Again in Bahrain – Feb. 26, 2011

Venezuelan Students End Hunger Strike

By Patrick Vanderpool
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

Venezuelan students on hunger strike (photo courtesy of Latin American Herald Tribune)
Venezuelan students on hunger strike (photo courtesy of Latin American Herald Tribune)

CARACAS, Venezuela – A student-lead hunger strike that lasted for 23 days has finally ended. The hunger strike, which grew from 9 to 80 university students, was in support of people that the protesters argued were political prisoners.

The protesting students had also been calling for a discussion of the cases by the Organization of American States (OAS) and arguing for a visit from that regional body, something that the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has so far blocked.

Lorent Saleh, one of the leaders of the protesters, stated that “today we are completing 23 days since we started a promise we made to fight for liberty and democracy, and for those who find themselves behind bars for thinking differently than this regime.” According to Saleh, the protesters and the Venezuelan government had reached a number of agreements, including medical attention for some prisoners, freedom for other prisoners and the creation of a round-table with authorities to discuss other demands that the protesters have.

According to Juan Pio Hernandez, a member of the Link the Americas organization, which has been a staunch supporter of the protesters, “the regime of Hugo Chavez agreed to free seven of the 27 political prisoners held under false criminal charges.”

The hunger strike drew significant attention from the United States. As the strike continued to snowball to its ultimate number of 80 students, the U.S. State Department called Hugo Chavez’ government to help end the starvation. The U.S.’s interference; however, was not taken kindly by all parties involved.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rejected the statements made by the U.S. government, accusing them of meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs. “Venezuela doesn’t need any protective guidance from nobody, of neither instance,” said Maduro.

The students announced that while the hunger-strike is over for the moment, their ‘Operation Freedom’ is not over and that they would continue to keep a vigil at the OAS headquarters in Caracas.

For more information, please see:

Latin American Herald Tribune – Venezuela Students End 3 Week Hunger Strike – Political Prisoner Released – 23 February 2011

Wall Street Journal – Venezuelan Student Protesters End Hunger Strike – 22 February 2011

Fox News Latino – Venezuela Student Hunger Strike Gains Momentum – 18 February 2011

E.U. Nations Disagree Over Refugee Plan for Libya

By Daniel M. Austin
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

Boat of Refugees docks in Lampedusa, Italy on February 21. (Photo courtesy of AFP).
Boat of refugees docks in Lampedusa, Italy on February 21. (Photo courtesy of AFP).

BRUSSELS, Belgium – As violence and revolution continues to rattle nations throughout North Africa, European Union (E.U.) members disagree on how to respond to the crisis.  In particular, there is wide disagreement on how to deal with the prospect of millions of North African refugees setting sail for southern Europe.  The Italian government, in particular,  has been urging other E.U. members to help find a solution to this looming crisis.

On Thursday, E.U. members Italy, Spain, France, Cyprus, Malta and Greece presented a joint proposal calling for a common asylum system to be in place by 2012.  The proposal was presented during a meeting of E.U. interior ministers in Brussels.  The plan also calls for dispersing the asylum seekers around all of Europe and not simply allowing the refugees to stay in the countries that ring the Mediterranean sea.  The Spanish Interior Minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba echoed this sentiment when he claimed that “Italy was only the door of Europe”.  Along with establishing this common asylum system, the proposal calls for funding which will be used to help nations like Italy process the refugees that arrive on their shores.

The Italian government and Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni have been sounding the alarm about a potential refugee crisis that could hit Europe.  Mr. Maroni claims that as many as a million and a half Libyan refugees could seek asylum in Europe.  His belief is that E.U. members should deal with this problem collectively. Recent reports suggest that after this proposal was introduced, several E.U. members were still hesitant about providing assistance.

The refugees that are sailing to southern Europe include people who are seeking a better economic situation as well as political refugees.  The political refugees are especially important because the European Union has certain obligations related to human rights agreements which require the E.U. to identify and accept these people.

This migration of both political and economic refugees is also being monitored by the United Nations.  Specifically, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has appealed to E.U. members to help deal with the potential wave of refugees related to the fighting in Libya.  In addition to those displaced by the recent fighting in Libya, Frontex, the E.U.’s border protection agency, estimates that between 750,000 and 1.5 million additional economic refugees are in Libya waiting to make passage to Europe.

For more information, please see:

AFP – Europe divided over Italy’s warnings of Libya exodus – 25 February 2011

BBC – EU urged to share asylum burden amid N Africa turmoil – 25 February 2011

THE GUARDIAN – Is EU serious about supporting human rights across north Africa? – 25 February 2011

VOICE OF AMERICA – Libya Unrest Sparks Migrant Debate in the EU – 24 February 2011

U.S. Firm to Help Fight Colombian Warlords

By R. Renee Yaworsky
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BOGOTA, Colombia—Colombia has been waging war against powerful drug warlords for many years.  The warlords have been working with relative impunity, frightening many civilians and frustrating government forces.  Now a U.S. firm has jumped on board to help Colombia in its anti-narcotics campaign.

ManTech International Corp. has received a $6.2 million contract to help fight drug warlords who operate between South, Central and North America, trafficking narcotics.  The U.S. firm is a provider of new technologies that deal with mission-critical national security programs.  ManTech has said they plan on operating in Colombia after receiving a task order in line with a Strategic Services Sourcing prime contract.  The multimillion dollar award will allow the mission to operate for at least 12 months, with an option to be extended for another two years.

ManTech intends to provide a bilingual team to work on communications to U.S. air assets that battle narcotics trafficking in Colombian air space.  The firm said the team will help plan air operations and support the U.S. Military Group Colombia with technical and security problems.  ManTech’s strategies have suggested that their operations in Colombia will be diversified.

Louis Addeo, president and chief operating officer of ManTech’s Technical Services Group said, “We are proud to be selected to play a part in the U.S. counter-narcotics mission.  Colombia is a prominent positioning point to battle the illegal drug trade that enters the United States.”  Addeo added that the company’s “extensive experience supporting U.S. military forces overseas” would help it be successful in its mission.

The United States has been aiding the Colombian government in its fight against traffickers who bring illegal drugs into richer areas of the Western Hemisphere.  The U.S. has spent tens of millions of dollars on these endeavors; yet the paramilitary drug gangs have so far been able to expertly use their acquired funds to counter government forces.

Drug lords living and working in Colombia have been powerful enough to command entire regions both within and outside of the country.  They have also been known to rule over towns and villages, run their own air strips, and keep informers who work in a variety of public and private sectors.

On Thursday, the United Nations reported that Colombian gangs drove a 40% increase in massacres last year, murdering human rights defenders, public officials, and civilians.  Christian Salazar, a U.N. representative, said, “These groups have the power to corrupt and infiltrate the state [and] are a strong threat to the rule of law.”

For more information, please see:

UPI-U.S. firm joins Colombia anti-narcotics operation-24 February 2011

Reuters-Colombia crime gangs spur more massacres in ’10: U.N.-24 February 2011

Colombia Reports-ManTech wins $6.2M contract to combat Colombian narco-trafficking-23 February 2011

North Korean Protesters demand food and electricity

By Joseph Juhn
Impunity Watch Reporter, Asia

SEOUL, South Korea – Scores of people caused unrest in Yongchon, North Pyongan Province in North Korea by shouting, “We can’t live! Give us fire [electricity] and rice!”

The event occurred on February 14, two days before leader Kim Jong-il’s birthday, when people fashioned makeshift megaphones out of newspapers and shouted those words.

“At first, there were only one or two people, but as time went by more and more came out of their houses and joined in the shouting,” the source added.

The State Security Department investigated the incident but was unable to identify the people who initiated the commotion when they met with a wall of silence.

“When such an incident took place in the past, people used to report their neighbors to the security forces, but now they’re covering for each other,” the source said.

Such demonstrations are extremely rare in repressive North Korea where information is tightly controlled by the state and people have no access to outside world. But as the regime staggers under international sanctions and failure of currency reform, people are showing signs of discontent.

“Discontent erupted because the regime cut off electricity that had been supplied to them only a few hours a day, and they had hard time putting food on the table due to soaring rice prices,” said one refugee.

In this particular case, the already infrequent electricity supplies were said to be diverted to the capital Pyongyang to light up the night there to mark Kim’s birthday, the paper said.

For two decades, since the collapse of a public distribution system that supplied food rations, Kim Jong Il’s government has neglected to care for its people. In the early and mid-1990s, an estimated 2 million died in a famine.

Despite these signs of people’s anger, analysts, however, doubt the possibility of a popular revolt similar to those in North Africa and the Middle East.

“I don’t see anything in civil society that would lead to a kind of Egyptian phenomenon,” said Stephan Haggard, Professor at University of California San diego, at a Washington presentation last month.

For more information, please see:

The Chosunilbo – N.Korean Protesters Demand Food and Electricity – 23 February 2011

Radio Netherlands Worldwide – N. Koreans protest over power cuts: report – 23 February 2011

The Washington Post – Starving N. Korea begs for food, but U.S. has concerns about resuming aid – 22 February 2011

IHRDC Urges U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to Visit Iran


February 22, 2011

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – The Islamic Republic of Iran executed at
least ten people last week – at the same time its security forces were
brutally suppressing street demonstrations.  Two more were executed
yesterday.  The official and semi-official Iranian press reported that
all twelve people were executed for drug trafficking, a crime that
does not warrant the death penalty under international law.  Also
alarming is the fact that, amid calls for the execution of opposition
leaders Mehdi Karroubi and Mir Hossein Mousavi, the authorities placed
both men under house arrest.

The ten executions were merely the latest in a steady stream of
executions.  The Islamic Republic has always had a high rate of
executions – for many years it has held the number two spot following
only China.  While some executions are officially announced, many are
never made public, making it difficult to know the full extent of this
practice.  However, the rate of executions began accelerating last
fall to the point where in January 2011 alone, 79 people were
officially reported to have been executed.  At least 60 people were
executed for alleged drug offenses, one for apostasy, and four who
were charged with Moharebeh (“enmity against God”) for their alleged
political activities.

The executions are merely one piece of the regime’s concerted effort
to suppress all forms of dissent, real or imagined.  Although last
week’s demonstrations were some of the first to take place since
December 2009, the regime has spent the last year systematically
dismantling civil society organizations, arresting lawyers and
students, and shutting down communications within Iran and with the
outside world.  The government’s suppression of dissent, including its
shutdown of communications, together with the house arrests of
opposition leaders and the continued high rate of executions is
alarming in its broad scope and shocking brutality.

IHRDC continues to condemn all executions and calls on Iran to stop
further executions as they violate international human rights law.
Iran must allow Iranians the freedom to express their opinions, gather
together, demonstrate, and communicate both within Iran and with the
outside world.  IHRDC also urges the U.N. High Commissioner for Human
Rights, Navi Pillay to visit Iran and condemn the ever-worsening
condition of human rights in that country.

IHRDC is a nonprofit organization based in New Haven, Connecticut that
was founded in 2004 by a group of human rights scholars, activists,
and historians.  Its staff of human rights lawyers and researchers
produce comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights
situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution.  The Center’s goal is to
encourage an informed dialogue among scholars and the general public
in both Iran and abroad.  The human rights reports and a database of
documents relating to human rights in Iran are available to the public
for research and educational purposes on the Center’s website.<>.

For further information, please contact:
Renee C. Redman, Esq.
Executive Director
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center
Tel: (203) 772-2218 Ext. 215,

Read Statement Online<>

Tel: (203) 772-2218
Fax: (203) 772-1782


Belarus Sentences Dissident To Four Years In Prison Amid Criticism

By Christina Berger
Impunity Watch Reporter, Europe

MISNK, Belarus — On Thursday, Belarusian opposition member Vasily Parfenkov was sentenced to four years in a high-security prison for taking part in the mass protest following the widely-disputed re-election of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in December 2010. Parfenkov was convicted of breaking a window at the parliament building during the protest. Parfenkov denies damaging any property.

Mass protests occurred after the December 19th re-election of Lukashenko, spurred by reports of fraud and vote-rigging by independent observers. Hundreds of people were detained following the protests, and opposition leaders were arrested and their homes and offices were raided. Parfenkov, who campaigned for opposition candidate Vladimir Neklyayev, is the first opposition member to stand trial. 37 other opposition leaders and 5 presidential candidates have been charged with inciting mass riots and await trial.

Parfenkov’s trial lasted barely seven hours and the prosecution alleged Parfenkov and others caused damage to the parliament building totaling about $4,600. The prosecution initially asked for a six-year sentence. Parfenkov admitted to taking part in the protest, but said he did not break any windows or otherwise damage the building. In addition to being sentenced to four years in a maximum security prison, Parfenkov was ordered to pay $4,700 to compensate for damage and his part in, according to the judge, a “lawless mob.”

Rights activists said they had almost no access to the trial proceeding because police in plain clothes used most of the 40 available seats. Vesna organisation chief  and rights activist Ales Belyatsky told the AFP that “[t]he court heard absolutely no evidence of there being any mass disturbances.” Belyatsky said, “[t]he accused admitted that he took part in an unsanctioned demonstration and pushed a wooden fence a few times.” Belyatsky further noted that “[t]hese crimes should be qualified as hooliganism [and h]e should have been sentence to 15 days in jail.”

In a separate development, the Justice Ministry revoked the license of four lawyers representing opposition activists for “gross violations.” The suspended lawyers are effectively barred from practicing their profession. The opposition activists who lawyers were suspended will now be represented by state-appointed attorneys. Garry Pogonyailo, a rights activists and former defense lawyer who lost his license, told the AFP that appointed lawyers “defend only formally, and very rarely show any enthusiasm.”

Parfenkov’s trial and sentencing has drawn sharp criticism from other countries and human rights organizations. The United States and European Union have spoken out against the continuing crackdown in Belarus, including shutting down human rights offices in Belarus as well as trying political prisoners. The US and EU have imposed sanctions, banning Lukashenko and 150 other Belarusian officials from 27 EU countries and freezing the assets of many officials. Poland has been particularly harsh in its criticism of the Lukashenko regime, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said on Sunday that his “country’s authorities will most favourably consider requests for political asylum by Belarussians engaged in pro-democratic activities.”

On Monday, the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, spoke out against the trial and sentencing of Parfenkov “for exercising his right to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.” Pillay indicated that the length and condition of the pre-trial detentions of the other opposition leaders awaiting trials do not comply with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Pillay’s office has also received continued reports of intimidation and harassment of lawyers, journalists, and non-governmental organizations in Belarus.

Pillay stated, “I have stressed before to the Belarus Government and I shall say it again: States have a duty to protect human rights defenders, journalists and civil society from threats, retaliation or pressure stemming from the legitimate exercise of their work in defence of human rights.”

For more information, please see:

UN NEWS CENTRE — Belarus: UN rights official speaks out against sentencing of political opponents — 21 Feb. 2011

WASHINGTON POST — Trials begin for Belarusan protesters amid criticism — 20 Feb. 2011

REUTERS — Polish leader offers asylum to Belarus opposition — 20 Feb. 2011

IRISH TIMES — US condemns Belarus trials and imprisoning of protester — 19 Feb. 2011

AFP — Belarus sentences protester to four years in jail — 18 Feb. 2011

WSJ — Belarus Sentences Opposition Activist to Four Years in Prison — 17 Feb. 2011

AFP — Belarus tries opposition, suspends defence lawyers — 17 Feb. 2011

BBC — Belarus dissident Vasily Parfenkov jailed for protest — 17 Feb. 2011

War Crimes Prosecution Watch, Volume 5, Issue 23

Volume 5, Issue 23 – February 14, 2011

Central African Republic & Uganda

*   Open Society Justice Initiative: Witness Became Soldiers’ Cook
after They Gang Raped
*   Reuters: Bemba’s CAR Visit Allegedly Led to a Drop in
*   Open Society Justice Initiative: Bemba’s Soldiers Spoke Central
African Language<>
*   Open Society Justice Initiative: Witness Denies Bozie’s Minister
Coached Rape Survivors<>
*   Open Society Justice Initiative: Central African Republic:
Witnesses Speak of MLC
*   Open Society Justice Initiative: Witness Blames Bemba’s Militia
for Bangui Killings<>

Darfur, Sudan

*   Sudan Tribune: Wikileaks: AU Chief Privately Critical of Sudan’s
Inaction on Darfur
*   Sudan Tribune: U.S. Denies Reports on Agreeing to Deferring
Bashir’s Warrant<>

Democratic Republic of the Congo (ICC)

*   ICC: Outreach Unit Continues Support for Lectures on the
International Criminal Court in Universities in North and South Kivu,
Democratic Republic of the
* Chamber Clarifies Disclosure


*   BBC News: African Union Backs Kenya Call to Delay ICC
*   The Standard: ICC Rejects Plea by Kenya Security
*   Capital News: Kenya Now to Lobby Security Council on
*   Capital News: ICC Judges Reject Ruto, Ali


International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

*   Hirondelle News Agency: Ngirumpatse Claims He had no Control
Over Interahamwe
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Nizeyimana Formed Military Police Unit
for Committing Genocide<>
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Defence Case of MRND Boss Adjourned to
February 15<>
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Nizeyimana Bought Beers to Soldiers
After Rwandan Queen was
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Ngirabatware Challenges Dismissal of
Request for Disqualification<>
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Appeals Judgment for Former Kigali
Governor Expected in
*   Hirondelle News Agency: Karegeya Accused of Helping Kabuga’s

Special Court for Sierra Leone

* Lawyers Get Their Final Say at the
Charles Taylor Trial<>
* Charles Taylor’s Boycotts End of War Crimes
* Judges Order Taylor’s Defense Lawyer to
Appear in Court on
* Prosecutors Ask For Investigation; Say
Defense Investigator Attempted To Bribe Prosecution Witnesses To
Change Their Evidence<>
* Defense Lawyers to Appeal Decision to
Reject Final Trial


Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

*   B92: Purda Extradition Hearing in
*   State Court of BiH: Saša Baričanin Ordered into
*   State Court of BiH: Pavle Gajić Pleaded Not
*   BIRN Justice Report: Djukic: Request for New Trial
*   BIRN Justice Report: Kornjaca: Responsibility for Persecution,
Murder and Torture<>

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

*   Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Karadzic Requests Trial
*   Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Forensic Expert Describes
Mass Graves<>
*   Institute for War and Peace Reporting: Survivor Recounts Trnova
*   Institute for War and Peace Reporting: UN Hostage Speaks of
Execution Fears<>

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

*   Bloomberg: Serbian Police Search Home of Fugitive Mladic’s
*   Bloomberg: Srebrenica War Crimes Suspect Held in France, Faces
*   ABC News: Nazi Officer Dies a Month Before
*   BIRN Justice Report: Local Justice: Establishing a Central
Register of Missing
*   Expatica France: Croatia Seeks Extradition of War Crimes Suspect
From France<>
*   BIRN Justice Report: Local Justice – Trifkovic and Milinkovic:
20 Years in Prison<>
*   BIRN Justice Report: Local Justice: Intensive Work on War-Crimes


Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

*   BBC News: Senior Khmer Rouge Leaders Appear in Cambodian
*   The Phnom Penh Post: Cambodian KRT Judge at Work on New
*   The Phnom Penh Post: Prosecutors Submit Outline for Case
*   The Phnom Penh Post: Judges Give KRT

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

*   Naharnet: EU Expected to Announce Readiness to Fund
*   Naharnet: Bellemare to Fransen: Lebanese Law Applicable in
Defining Crimes, STL to Resort to Int’l Law Only if
*   Naharnet: Francois Roux: Indictment Will See Light in a Few
* STL President Requests Replacement of Judge Bert
*   Daily Star: Special Tribunal to Address Possible Procedural
Anomalies: Court will Decide on Issues Raised by Fransen to Ensure Law
Consistently Applied<>
* Hariri Court Holds Hearing on Terror
*   Naharnet: Fransen Asks Bellemare to Clarify Reasons Why Some
Documents Mustn’t Be Disclosed to
*   Naharnet: Ahmed Hariri: Miqati Became PM after Promising to
Torpedo Agreement with
*   Daily Lebanon: Italian Ambassador Pledges Continued
Peacekeeping, Developmental Assistance: Morabito Says has Received
Assurance that Mikati Cabinet Will Uphold Resolution


United States

*   Reuters: “Jihad Jane” Pleads Guilty in U.S. Terrorism
*   Associated Press: Afghan Detainee Dies after Exercise at
*   Associated Press: Lawsuit on Hamas Slayings Lingers in Court in
*   Associated Press: Prison Time Cut for Al-Qaida Cook at



*   BBC: Moscow Airport Bomb: Deaths Climb to
*   Telegraph Co Uk: British Airways Worker Planned Terrorist Attack
on US-bound Plane, Court
*   The Associated Press : Canadian Terror Suspect Denied
*   AFP : US Man Pleads Guilty to ‘Jihad’


*   Associated Press: South Korea to Prosecute Five Somalis on
Charges of Piracy<>
*   Daily Nation: EU Admits Challenges in Sea Piracy
*   Reuters: U.N. Maritime Body Launches Anti-Piracy
*   AFP: Malaysia Extends Detention of Somali

Universal Jurisdiction

*   Harper’s Magazine: Bush Cancels Trip to
*   Reuters: Face of Israel’s Armed Forces Visited UK


NGO Reports

*   Human Rights Watch: US: Geneva Case Against Bush Shows Need to
Prosecute Torture<>

UN Reports

*   Reuters Africa: U.N. Offers to Help Haiti Prosecute Duvalier
*   UN News Centre: Secretary-General Sets Out Broad Agenda For
Strengthening Human



*   Kenya
*   KBC News: TJRC to Begin Countrywide Hearings
*   Daily Nation : Tribunal Meets Kiplagat on
*   The Standard: TJRC Pledges to Push On Despite
*   Thailand
*   Bangkok Post: TRC Steps Up Protest Deaths Investigation:
Slain Nurse’s Mother to Testify Tomorrow
*   Nigeria
*   The Osun Defender: Osun Sets Up Truth and Reconciliation

Worth Reading

Worth Reading

*   Leiden Journal of International Law: Unraveling the Confusion
Concerning Successor Superior Responsibility in the ICTY
*   International Criminal Law Review: Questioning Hierarchies of
Harm: Women, Forced Migration, and International Criminal

The War Crimes Prosecution Watch’s parent institution, the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, is please to announce the creation of a new LLM program in International Criminal Law.  The program’s website can be found here<>.  For more information, please read the attached message from the program’s director and WCPW founder Prof. Michael Scharf.

Peace Negotiations Watch


Friday, February 4, 2011
Volume X, Number 5

In this issue:


Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sudan: Darfur
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Water Diplomacy


Afghanistan Inaugurates New Parliament
CNN, January 26, 2011
Afghanistan’s new parliament, elected four months ago in an election criticized for widespread fraud, was sworn in on January 26.  President Hamid Karzai had refused to seat the parliament until a court could hear complaints related to the election.  In a deal between Karzai and the parliament, criminal cases will be prosecuted based on the constitution and election laws, but members of parliament will continue to have immunity.

NATO Not to Leave Afghanistan After 2014 Transition: Official
Xinhua, January 26, 2011
A senior NATO official announced that NATO troops will not leave Afghanistan after Afghan troops officially take responsibility for security in 2014.  Instead, the role of NATO forces will change and troops will continue to support the development of the Afghan security forces.


“The Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina is firmly within the EU” – EU Directorate General, January 25, 2011
Deputy Director General Stefano Sannino reaffirmed the European Union’s (EU) commitment to aiding Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU integration efforts.  Sannino will meet with the Presidency to discuss the changes necessary to accelerate the process.  He will also attend the Adriatic Ionian Macro Region Bridge to EU Conference to discuss EU integration.  Sannino expressed confidence that the leaders of Bosnia and Herzegovina would be able to reach national consensus and make the necessary reforms.

Inzko Calls for Accelerated Talks to Form Bosnia and Herzegovina Government
Southeast Times, January 28, 2011
High Representative Valentin Inzko urged leaders at the state and entity levels to accelerate the formation of the new government, calling their current efforts ‘unacceptably slow.’  Inzko called for prompt talks to form a government according to mandates provided in the October 2010 election.  Inzko is worried that the slowed formation will take momentum from critical issues like EU integration, corruption and economic recovery.


Burmese Junta Defends Itself in Geneva
The Irrawaddy, January 27, 2011
The Burmese delegation defended Burma’s human rights record before the Office of the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva on January 27.  During the Universal Periodic Review, several U.N. members, including the United States and France, called on the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, prevent the use of child labor, and end repression again ethnic minorities.  The Burmese delegation, however, denied all allegations of human rights abuses and reminded the Council that Burma had cooperated with the U.N. Human Rights Special Envoy to Burma.

Burma Upholds Dissolution of Suu Kyi’s NLD Party
BBC News, January 28, 2011
After dismissing the case four times in lower courts, Burma’s Supreme Court ruled to dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), determining that there was no legal basis for appeal.  The Court further declared that the party would remain illegal due to its failure to register for November 2010 elections.  Suu Kyi’s lawyer explained that the NLD had no further legal remedy unless the Chief Justice modified the ruling.  He added, however, that the NLD will continue to work with the Burmese people, regardless of the Court’s decision.

Burma Prepares for New Era with Opening of Parliament, but Army Remains in Driver’s Seat
Associated Press, January 29, 2010
Burma is preparing to open its first session of Parliament on January 31.  One of the legislature’s first acts will be to elect Burma’s new president, whom many expect will be current junta leader Senior General Than Shwe.  Contrary to international custom, however, the government has not invited the press or the diplomatic community to attend the opening.  Moreover, the imminent first session of Parliament has not prevented the junta from promulgating a variety of laws prior to Parliament’s opening.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Rwandan Hutu Leader Faces International Criminal Court
Voice of America, January 28, 2011
Calixte Mbarushimana appeared before the International Criminal Court, where he faces charges of murder, rape and torture of civilians in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.  Mbarushimana is accused of having directed operations of the Rwandan rebel group Forces Democratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR) from exile in France.  He stated that he was not involved in any attacks against civilians.  The French authorities handed Mbarushimana over to the ICC last year, after living there in exile for almost ten years.

Sixty Raped in Attacks on Congo Villages – UN
Reuters, January 28, 2011
Armed groups attacked two villages in eastern Congo and raped sixty people, the latest incidents in an increase in mass sexual attacks in the region.  Doctors in the region report that mass rapes by armed groups are becoming more common, along with a trend of civilians mimicking the armed groups.  It is unknown which armed group or groups are responsible for the recent attacks.


Only International Criminal Court Can Save You Now, Kenya Told
Daily Nation, January 27, 2011
During a trip to Nairobi to meet with government officials, the ICC Assembly of State Parties President Christian Wenaweser advised Kenya to deal directly with the ICC to seek a deferral rather than asking the AU for support.  He further stated that the ICC would support domestic proceedings against the ICC suspects but that Kenya would need to follow certain procedures to qualify for a postponement.

Bid to Defer ICC Trials Gets African Union Boost
Daily Nation, January 28, 2011
The African Union’s  (AU) Peace and Security Council has agreed to endorse a resolution to support Kenya’s deferral of its cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC).  The resolution will be tabled at the Council’s upcoming meeting in Ethiopia.  Kenya has agreed to reform its police force and judiciary to be able to handle a special tribunal to try the six post-election violence suspects domestically.

Kenya Prime Minister Warns of Crisis Over Top Posts
Associated Press, January 29, 2011
Prime Minister Raila Odinga expressed concern that President Mwai Kibaki did not consult him prior to nominating individuals for chief justice, top prosecutor, attorney general, and budget chief, as required by the new constitution. Odinga warned that unless Kibaki withdraws the nominations, his party will pursue legal measures to block them. The two also disagree on the handling of the situation related to the International Criminal Court (ICC).  Odinga argues that genuine judicial reforms need to be implemented prior to any domestic prosecutions.


Kosovo, Serbia React to Organ Trafficking Resolution
Balkan Insight, January 26, 2011
The Council of Europe’s adoption of a report on organ trafficking, alleging serious crimes committed by former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), received mixed reactions in Kosovo and Serbia.  According to Kosovo officials, the report has seriously damaged Kosovo’s international image.  Several Kosovar political leaders argue that the report contains nothing but defamatory, politically motivated information and Serbian propaganda designed to detract from Kosovo’s independence bid. However, Kosovo authorities pledged to cooperate with the European Union Rule of Law Initiative (EULEX) investigation. Serbian officials endorse the report.

Dutch Minister: “Kosovo is Run by Criminals”
Balkan Insight, January 29, 2011
A leaked cable from 2007, during elections in Kosovo and leading up to the February 2008 declaration of independence, contains remarks by Frans Timmermans made at a meeting with U.S. officials in the Hague. Timmermans, the then Dutch State Secretary for European Affairs, indicated his concern about the EU’s outreach to Kosovo, claiming that many leaders in Kosovo make their livings through crime.  Timmermans also expressed doubt that the EU would ever reach consensus on Kosovo. The leaked cable comes in the wake of two other reports implicating other senior Kosovo officials in organized crime and organ trafficking.

Kosovo Courts Face Enormous Backlog
ETimes, January 31, 2011
Kosovo’s judiciary reportedly has a backlog of over 300,000 cases.  While Enver Peci, the Chairman of the Kosovo Judicial Council, has stated that the government is taking steps to address the situation, some believe the judicial system is in miserable shape, and may even face collapse.  Currently, EULEX is providing assistance to the judiciary on more complex cases, such as war crimes and corruption cases, in order to alleviate the backlog.


Nepal Approves Changes to End Deadlock Over PM Election
Times of India, January 25, 2011
A panel composed of five high-ranking parliamentarians established a new process for prime ministerial elections, aimed at solving Nepal’s current political deadlock.  Under the new rules, lawmakers will have to attend and vote in the election, as long as more than one candidate is contesting the polls.  Furthermore, the Parliamentary speaker will have the right to disqualify candidates who are unable to win the majority of the votes by the end of the third round.

Monitoring Mechanism Takes Full Shape
The Himalayan Times, January 25, 2011
The Special Committee (SC) for the supervision, integration, and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants, now in charge of the PLA fighters, has finalized its monitoring mechanism. The SC established a nine-member mechanism, to consist of four members of the SC, four members of the SC’s Secretariat, and one representative of the PLA fighters.  The SC appointed the members of the monitoring mechanism, representing the main political parties as well as the Tarai-based parties and the Nepali Army.

Consensus Eludes Nepali Parties
The Hindu, January 26, 2011
Failing to meet the January 26 deadline set by Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav to form a consensus government, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN), the Nepali Congress (NC), and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) will have to choose a prime minister though parliamentary elections.  Essentially, the parties were unable to reach consensus because they each claimed the right to lead Nepal’s government.


UN Envoy Proposes Special Courts to Try Suspected Pirates
UN News Services, January 25, 2011
The UN special envoy on maritime piracy, Jack Lang, has proposed the setting up of two special courts inside Somalia and one in Tanzania to try suspected pirates.  He urged the international community to work towards the “Somaliazation” of responses to piracy by helping local authorities in Somaliland and Puntland to enhance their judicial and prison capacities in order to prosecute and jail captured pirates.  The cost of the proposed measures is estimated at $25 million.

Sudan: Darfur

SLM Rebels Says More Time Needed Before Joining Darfur Peace Process
Sudan Tribune, January 25, 2011
The Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) led by Abdel Wahid Al-Nur reaffirmed its intention to join the peace process in Doha but said more time is needed to achieve an all-encompassing consultation process, which requires that all parties to the conflict be included.  Al-Nur has spent the past month in Nairobi engaged in meetings with the members of his group and the IDPs and refugees SLM claims to defend.

Rebels Commit Themselves to Work Together for Peace in Darfur
Sudan Tribune, January 30, 2011
The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Liberation and Justice Movement (LJM) will meet next week for the first time in Doha to show their commitment to the peace process and discuss ways to coordinate their action.  The two rebel leaders further called on the Sudanese government to resume peace talks in Doha, rejecting Sudan’s other initiatives as an attempt at a Khartoumization of the process—giving the government undue control over their victims.

Sudanese Police Clash With Students in Khartoum
MSNBC, January 30, 2011
Hundreds of students protested in Khartoum, demanding the resignation of the government.  Riot police responded by surrounding the entrances to universities, firing tear gas, beating students, and arresting them.  Another protest took place in el-Obeid, North Kordofan.  The groups have been able to organize themselves via social networking sites on the internet, similar to protesters in Tunisia and Egypt.

Sudan: Southern Sudan

African Union to Lead Recognition of S. Sudan
Washington Post, January 26, 2011
Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika, current chair of the AU, announced that the organization would be one of the first to recognize the outcome of the referendum should the final results show that the South chose secession.  Sudan will be one of the agenda items for the next AU meeting.

Nearly All Southern Sudanese Voted for Secession
Guardian UK, January 30, 2011
Several thousand people attended the unveiling of the official preliminary results of the Southern Sudan referendum.  According to the preliminary results, 99% of voters chose secession.  Voter turnout for the referendum was 98%.  Confirmation of the results is expected within the next few weeks, subject to any appeals.  Once the results are confirmed, Southern Sudan will be able to declare independence on July 9, 2011.

UN’s Ban Seeks Talks on Dividing Sudan’s Oil Wealth Amid Vote on Secession
Bloomberg, January 30, 2011
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the North and South to quickly return to negotiating on Abyei, oil, borders, citizenship, security, and wealth-sharing as soon as possible.  With respect to the oil issue, nearly 80% of Sudan’s oil production of nearly 490,000 barrels a day is located in Southern Sudan.  The primary operators are China’s National Petroleum Corporation, Mayalsia’s Petroliam Nasional Bhd., and India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.


Thai Red Shirts to Petition International Criminal Court Against Government
Xinhua, January 20, 2011
Thida Thavornseth, leader of the opposition United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), announced the UDD’s plans to file a petition with the International Criminal Court.  The UDD seeks to hold the Thai government responsible for the response of its security forces to the Red Shirt protests last year.  The petition will claim that Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is responsible for the deaths of ninety-one people during the protests.  Until now, there have been no official charges brought against anyone in Thailand for those deaths.

Twenty-Five Protest Deaths Explained
Bangkok Post, January 21, 2011
Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) concluded that twelve of the eighty-nine deaths during the protests last spring were attributed to the Red Shirts, while thirteen others were caused by the government forces.  Deaths attributed to the Red Shirts include those resulting from the fire at CentralWorld shopping center.  The report found the government forces responsible for the shooting death of a Japanese cameraman and the deaths of three people at a Buddhist temple.  The findings are the result of a joint investigation between the DSI, forensic science experts, and public prosecutors.

An April Poll Looks Likely, Says Abhisit
Bangkok Post, January 27, 2011
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva repeated his earlier announcement that dissolution of Parliament and a call for general elections may occur as early as April.  Abhisit added that early elections are conditional upon the successful adoption of constitutional amendments, a robust economy, and political stability.  The remaining constitutional amendments are expected to be adopted on February 13.  The opposition Puea Thai party expressed its reservation about the sincerity of Abhisit’s announcement.


LRA Rebels Kill Two, Abduct One in Southern Sudan’s Western Equatoria State
Sudan Tribune, January 28, 2011
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) attacked Gangura, a small village near the capital of Western Equatoria, Yambio, in South Sudan, killing a father and son and abducting a boy on January 28.  This is the first incident to follow the South Sudanese referendum.  The Ugandan People’s Defense Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army have joined forces to help local security organizations, such as the Arrow Boys, in altering and fighting off LRA attacks.

Religious in Remote North Ask Congo to Quit Downplaying LRA Violence
Catholic News Service, January 28, 2011
Religious leaders in Northern Congo have asked the government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) not to minimize the threat posed by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the region and to set up an investigatory commission to look into the murder of Congolese nun, Sister Jeanne Yengane, by the LRA on January 17.  The religious leaders accuse the DRC government of feigning ignorance about LRA atrocities and instead falsely accusing other groups of committing the atrocities and citizens of spying for the LRA.  The religious leaders also asked the international community to set up a special international tribunal mandated to prosecute Joseph Kony and other LRA members.

Water Diplomacy

India, Bangladesh Set to Sign Pact on Sharing of River Water
Daily News and Analysis, January 10, 2011
The Water Resources Secretaries for India and Bangladesh met to finalize an interim water sharing agreement that would determine how the two states share the Teesta and Feni Rivers during dry seasons.  In a press conference, the two sides said that the meeting was successful and that their differences have been resolved.  The agreement is set to be signed during the Indian Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to Bangladesh.

Congo, Burundi Are Set to Sign Nile River Water Accord Rejected by Egypt
Bloomberg, January 20, 2011
Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo are gearing up to sign the Comprehensive Framework Agreement (CFA) which aims at changing water usage rights of the Nile.  The CFA has already been signed by Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya, but is opposed by Egypt and Sudan.  Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister commented that Egypt and Sudan need to cooperate on this issue because the 1929 agreement that currently governs water usage is outdated and unfair.  Egypt has already warned that if the CFA is ratified, it plans to withdraw from the World Bank’s Nile Basin Initiative.

Somalia’s Humanitarian Crisis Deepens as Worst Drought Hits
Business Daily, January 27, 2011
The United Nations and Oxfam warned that the already devastating humanitarian crisis in Somalia will deepen as a result of a water crisis caused by a severe draught.  Oxfam said that the water crisis coupled with the ongoing civil war will push Somalia over the edge and that action needs to be taken by the international community so that recent gains in the country will not be lost.


ZANU – PF Apology Over Lodge Invasions
New Zimbabwe, January 25, 2011
Ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) issued an apology to owners of private boat clubs and tourist lodges after their facilities were forcefully invaded by a mob of 200 militants.  The incident sparked fears that the government may be orchestrating a land grab of tourist facilities similar to land grabs in 2000.  However, ZANU-PF denied any involvement or encouragement of the militants and apologized to affected owners.

African Union Commission to Make Case for Zimbabwe Elections Delay to 2013
Voice of America, January 28, 2011
The African Union Political Affairs Department of Human Rights, Elections, Peace and Security will be sending an envoy to Harare to evaluate the current conditions in Zimbabwe and to urge Mugabe to postpone the elections he has proposed for later this year. AU involvement has been largely at the behest of civil society organizations.  In contrast, ZANU–PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo has stated that as a sovereign state Zimbabwe alone will decide when elections will be held.  The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) claims elections should not be held until fundamental election reforms have been implemented.

German Embassy in Harare Protest Threatened Zimbabwe Property Seizures
Voice of America, January 28, 2011
The German Embassy has alleged that senior ZANU-PF officials intend to seize private property owned by Germans.  A letter of protest was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asserting that the property is protected by a bilateral agreement signed by Zimbabwe and Germany that promotes and protects investment.  These allegations follow invasions of tourist retreats in the Manicaland provinces, which the Ministry of Tourism has said are hurting the tourism industry.

Peace Negotiations Watch is a weekly publication detailing current events relating to conflict and peace processes in selected countries.  It is prepared by the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG) and made possible by grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Ploughshares Fund.