War Crimes Prosecution Watch, Vol. 5, Issue 17 — November 22, 2010

Volume 5, Issue 17 – November 22, 2010

INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Central African Republic & Uganda

Democratic Republic of the Congo (ICC)

Kenya

AFRICA

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

Special Court for Sierra Leone

EUROPE

Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina, War Crimes Chamber

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Domestic Prosecutions In The Former Yugoslavia

MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

Iraqi High Tribunal

Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal

War Crimes Investigations in Burma

NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA

United States

TOPICS

Terrorism

Piracy

Universal Jurisdiction

REPORTS

UN Reports

TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSIONS

General

WORTH READING

War Crimes Prosecution Watch is a bi-weekly e-newsletter that compiles official documents and articles from major news sources detailing and analyzing salient issues pertaining to the investigation and prosecution of war crimes throughout the world. If you do not want to receive future issues of War Crimes Prosecution Watch, please email warcrimeswatch@pilpg.org and type “unsubscribe” in the subject line.

A Terrorist Gets What He Deserves

By MORRIS DAVIS
New York Times

WASHINGTON D.C., United States – CRITICS of President Obama’s decision to prosecute Guantánamo Bay detainees in federal courts have seized on the verdict in the Ahmed Ghailani case as proof that federal trials are a disastrous failure. After the jury on Wednesday found Mr. Ghailani guilty of only one charge in the 1998 African embassy bombings, Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, called on the administration to “admit it was wrong and assure us just as confidently that terrorists will be tried from now on in the military commission system.”

The verdict — in which Mr. Ghailani was found guilty of conspiring to blow up United States government buildings and not guilty on 284 other counts — came as a surprise to many, but the outcome does not justify allowing political rhetoric like Senator McConnell’s to trump reality.

True, prosecutors suffered a major setback when Judge Lewis Kaplan of the Federal District Court in Manhattan refused to permit the testimony of the only witness who could connect Mr. Ghailani to the explosives used in the bombings. The judge did so because Mr. Ghailani claimed that he revealed the identity of this witness after being tortured by the C.I.A. The prosecution did not contest his claim, arguing instead that the identificationof this “giant witness for the government” was only remotely linked to Mr. Ghailani’s interrogation.

Judge Kaplan disagreed, saying that Americans cannot afford to let fear “overcome principles upon which our nation rests.” He said that, given the same circumstances, a military commission judge might have reached the same conclusion and barred the testimony.

Many have scoffed at this claim. Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, insists that Judge Kaplan “doomed” the case. Yet a look at the record shows that Judge Kaplan’s assessment of what a military commission judge might have decided was well founded.

Consider Mohammed Jawad, an Afghan teenager who was charged with attempted murder for throwing a grenade at an American vehicle in Kabul in 2002. In 2008 a military judge, Col. Stephen Henley, suppressed incriminating statements Mr. Jawad had made after he was beaten and his family threatened while he was in Afghan custody. The military commission charges were later dropped and last year the United States sent Mr. Jawad home to Afghanistan.

We don’t know for certain whether a military judge would have reached the same conclusion as Judge Kaplan, but given the Jawad precedent it seems very possible. Those who claim to know that the government would have gotten a more favorable ruling in a military commission are ignoring the record.

In any case, Mr. Ghailani now faces a sentence of 20 years to life. Even if he gets the minimum, his sentence will be greater than those of four of the five detainees so far convicted in military commissions. Only one defendant, Ali Hamza al-Bahlul, has been sentenced to life, and this was after he boycotted his tribunal and presented no defense.

Of the four detainees who participated in their military commissions, Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen who was 15 when arrested, is serving the longest sentence after pleading guilty to murder. Yet he will serve no more than eight years behind bars, less than half of Mr. Ghailani’s minimum incarceration. Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden’s former driver, was sentenced to five and half years in 2008 but given credit for time served; five months later he was free. There is no reason to assume that a military commission sentence will be more severe than one from a federal court.

In addition, Mr. Ghailani may well serve his sentence at the “supermax” federal prison in Florence, Colo., where others convicted in the embassy bombings are confined. If so, he will spend more time in solitary and enjoy fewer privileges than those under the most restrictive measures at Guantánamo.

President Obama is in a no-win situation when it comes to trying detainees — any forum he chooses will set off critics on one side of the debate or the other. I hope he pauses to reflect on what he said at the National Archives in May 2009: “Some have derided our federal courts as incapable of handling the trials of terrorists. They are wrong. Our courts and our juries, our citizens, are tough enough to convict terrorists.”

The Ghailani trial delivered justice. It did so safely and securely, while upholding the values that have defined America. Now Mr. Obama should stand up to the fear-mongers who want to take us back to the wrong side of history.

Morris Davis, a former Air Force colonel, was the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, from 2005 to 2007. He is the director of the Crimes of War Project.

Published November 18, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/19/opinion/19davis.htm

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Calls for the Unconditional Release of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

November 4, 2010
Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) condemns the continued unwarranted detention of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Iran and calls for her unconditional release.  “The Iranian authorities should immediately release Mohammadi Ashtiani,” said Renee Redman, Executive Director of IHRDC. “The handling of her case file has lacked fundamental guarantees of due process and transparency from the beginning. It is particularly alarming that while the Iranian government plays with Mohammadi Ashtiani’s life, it is making a bid for a position on the board of the newly-created UN Women agency that was created to promote women’s equality.”

Mohammadi Ashtiani, a widow and mother of two, was initially sentenced to execution by stoning for a conviction for adultery. Following international condemnation, her execution was suspended in July, pending review by the Iranian judiciary. While in detention, Mohammadi Ashtiani has reportedly been subjected to torture and mistreatment, and forced to falsely confess.

Mohammadi Ashtiani’s family and close associates have also been harassed and targeted by government authorities. Mohammadi Ashtiani’s lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei, a prominent criminal defense attorney and a human rights activist, was threatened with arrest by Iranian authorities in retaliation for comments he made to the international media in support of his client. He was forced to flee the country. On October 10, 2010, Mohammadi Ashtiani’s other lawyer, Houtan Kian, and her son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, were reportedly arrested in Kian’s law office in Tabriz, Iran for speaking with two German journalists about Mohammadi Ashtiani’s case. Kian, Ghaderzadeh and the foreign journalists remain in detention.

On November 1, the International Campaign Against Stoning reported that Mohammadi Ashtiani would be executed by hanging yesterday. While her execution appears to have been delayed, reports indicate that the implementation of the sentence is imminent.

Under Article 83 of Iran’s Islamic penal code, individuals found guilty of adultery may be sentenced to death by stoning—this punishment falls disproportionately on women. Currently at least ten people—including both women and men—are awaiting execution by stoning for adultery convictions in Iran.

IHRDC’s recently published report entitled Silencing the Women’s Rights Movement in Iran documents the arrests and detentions of women’s rights activists and lawyers who defend women’s rights, following the disputed presidential election of last year.  The harassment of Mohammadi Ashtiani’s former lawyer, Mohammad Mostafaei, by Iranian authorities is also chronicled in the report.

The report is available in English on IHRDC’s website here.

The Persian translation of the report is available here.

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 publish comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights situation in Iran. The reports and database of documents relating to human rights in Iran are available to the public for research and educational purposes on the Center’s website at www.iranhrdc.org.

US: Khadr Sentencing Should Reflect Juvenile Status

Human Rights Watch

NEW YORK, New York, United States – The military commission sentencing jury at Guantanamo should fully take into account Omar Khadr’s status as a former child soldier captured when he was 15, Human Rights Watch said today. According to media reports, Khadr accepted a plea deal on October 25, 2010, to purported war crimes and other charges, making the US the first Western nation since World War II to convict someone for acts committed as a child in a war crimes tribunal.

“The US treatment of Omar Khadr has been at odds with international standards on juvenile justice and child soldiers from the very beginning,” said Jo Becker, children’s rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “As the military jurors consider sentencing this week, they need to take Khadr’s status as a child offender into account.”

Khadr, a Canadian citizen, has already spent more than eight years in US military custody. The terms of the plea deal have not yet been made public. Khadr was facing life in prison on the charges against him, which included murder and attempted murder in violation of the laws of war, conspiracy, providing material support for terrorism, and spying.

A sentencing hearing, which is scheduled to begin on October 26, 2010, will still take place, and a lesser sentence could be imposed. During the hearing, prosecutors plan to put forward 10 sentencing witnesses and the defense four. A military jury of seven will listen to sentencing evidence and then decide upon a sentence, which will be imposed if it less than that reached by the plea agreement.

“The US government’s failure to taken into account Khadr’s age should not persist at his sentencing,” Becker said. “The US Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that adolescents lack the experience, perspective, and judgment of adults and should be treated differently.”

Khadr, now 24, was prosecuted for the killing of US Army Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. Speer was killed on July 27, 2002, after US forces entered a compound in Afghanistan where Khadr and others were located and a firefight ensued. Prosecutors alleged that during the firefight, Khadr threw the grenade that killed Speer and wounded others. Khadr was also seriously wounded in the firefight with two bullet wounds in his chest.

After Khadr was captured, he was taken to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. While there he was forced into painful stress positions, threatened with rape, hooded, and confronted with barking dogs. The government’s own witnesses confirmed some of this treatment when they testified that Khadr was interrogated while strapped down on a stretcher just 12 hours after sustaining his life-threatening injuries. They also testified he was threatened with rape if he did not cooperate.

In October 2002, Khadr was transferred to Guantanamo where the abuse continued. He told his lawyers that he was shackled in painful positions, told he would be sent to Egypt, Syria, or Jordan for torture, and used as a “human mop” after he urinated on the floor during one interrogation session.

He was deprived of all access to legal counsel until November 2004, more than two years after he was first detained. At some point during his interrogations, Khadr confessed to throwing the grenade that killed Speer, although up until today he had recanted that confession on the basis that it was coerced.

While child offenders may be prosecuted for war crimes, the US has failed throughout Khadr’s detention to afford him the protections provided to children under international law. Under the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (Optional Protocol), which the United States ratified in 2002, the US is obligated to recognize the special situation of children who have been recruited or used in armed conflict.

The Optional Protocol requires the rehabilitation of former child soldiers within a state party’s jurisdiction, mandating that states provide “all appropriate assistance for their physical and psychological recovery and their social reintegration.” Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the US is a signatory, governments should ensure that the imprisonment of a child offender “shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.”

“The recruitment and use of child soldiers is regarded as a serious human rights abuse and international standards for dealing with former child soldiers emphasize rehabilitation, not punitive approaches,” Becker said.

Andrea Prasow, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch, is currently in Guantanamo Bay and will be monitoring the sentencing proceedings.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Guantanamo, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/en/category/topic/counterterrorism

For more information, please contact:
In Guantanamo Bay, Andrea Prasow (English): prasowa@hrw.org; follow tweets at http://twitter.com/andreaprasow
In New York, Jo Becker (English): +1-212-216-1236; or +1-914-263-9643(mobile); or beckerj@hrw.org
In New York, Joanne Mariner (English): +1-212-216-1218; or +1-917-647-4588 (mobile); or marinej@hrw.org
In New York, Laura Pitter (English): +1-212- 216-1897; or +1-917-450-4361 (mobile); or pitterl@hrw.org

[Campaign for International Justice] International Inquiry Needed to Address Alleged War Crimes in Sri Lanka

International inquiry needed to address alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka

14 October 2010

Amnesty International has declined an invitation to appear before Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and calls again for an international inquiry into the evidence of war crimes and other abuses during the civil war.

In a joint letter released on Thursday, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group announced that they would not appear before the Commission, saying it did not meet international standards for independent and impartial inquiries.

”Amnesty International would welcome the opportunity to appear before a credible commission of inquiry aimed at securing accountability and reconciliation in Sri Lanka,” said Madhu Malhotra, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Asia-Pacific.

”We believe effective domestic inquiries are essential to human rights protection and accountability. But the LLRC falls far short of what is required.”
 
Like its predecessors, the LLRC exists against a backdrop of continuing government failure to address accountability and continuing human rights abuses.

Amnesty International documented Sri Lanka’s long history of impunity and the failed Presidential Commission of Inquiry in its 2009 report Twenty Years of Make-believe; Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry.
 
”The LLRC’s mandate, its composition, its procedures, and the human rights environment in which it is operating all conspire to make a safe and satisfactory outcome for victims of human rights violations and their families extremely unlikely,” said Madhu Malhotra.

”Amnesty International is particularly concerned about the lack of any provisions for witness protection and the fact that former officials who have publicly defended the Sri Lankan government against allegations of war crimes serve on the commission.”

Amnesty International has received numerous credible reports from witnesses that both the government security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) committed serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law during the armed conflict, particularly in the final months of the war.

Some of their testimony was included in Amnesty International’s 2009 briefing Unlock the Camps; Safety and Dignity For The Displaced Now. But the LLRC’s mandate does not require it to investigate these allegations, which include summary executions, torture, attacks on civilians and civilian objects, and other war crimes.

”The hundreds of civilians who sought to testify before the LLRC in Killinochchi in September did so without guarantees of protection or any real hope of justice. Their willingness to come forward shows the need of Sri Lanka’s war survivors for news about what happened to missing relatives and for justice,” said Madhu Malhotra.

”If the Sri Lankan government is serious about accountability and reconciliation, it must be serious about truth and justice for these people. Any credible commission must be given adequate scope and resources to allow for individuals to receive a fair hearing and sufficient authority to ensure redress. It must also treat all witnesses in a safe and humane fashion.”

Amnesty International said it remains committed to contributing to any genuine effort in Sri Lanka to find a just way forward from the decades of civil war and human rights abuses.

Read More
Sri Lanka: International inquiry needed to address alleged war crimes (Joint Letter to the Lessons Learned & Reconciliation Commission, 14 October 2010)
Sri Lanka: Unlock the Camps in Sri Lanka: Safety and dignity for the displaced now (Briefing paper, 10 August 2009)
Twenty Years of Make Believe, Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry (Document, 11 June 2009)

www.amnesty.org/en/international-justice
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-Internationals-Campaign-for-International-Justice/135454306496834
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cmpn4IntJustice

[Campaign for International Justice] Moldova Commits to International Justice

Moldova commits to international justice

14 October 2010

Moldova has taken a welcome step towards tackling gross human rights violations by ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, said Amnesty International. 

”It is good to see that Moldova has committed  to international justice and working to end impunity for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” said Christopher Keith Hall, Senior Legal Adviser in the International Justice Project.

Wednesday’s ratification follows more than 10 years of campaigning by Amnesty International Moldova and other civil society groups. Moldova is now the 114th state to ratify the Rome Statute.

”Slowly but surely more countries are ratifying the Rome Statute and the impunity gaps that have denied justice to untold numbers of victims of these horrific crimes are being closed,” said Christopher Keith Hall.

However, Amnesty International  expressed concern about the number of countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, but have not yet fulfilled their commitments to the Court. 

Many countries that have ratified have yet to implement the Rome Statute effectively into national law or to enter into supplementary agreements with the Court on privileges and immunities, victim relocation and enforcement of sentences.

”Ratification is a major step, but only a first step,” said Christopher Keith Hall. “In particular, national law reform is vital to ensure that Moldova can cooperate fully with the Court and that its national courts can fulfil their obligations to investigate and prosecute cases of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

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Campaign for International Justice
Amnesty International
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW
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www.amnesty.org/en/international-justice
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amnesty-Internationals-Campaign-for-International-Justice/135454306496834
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Cmpn4IntJustice

Peace Negotiations Watch

PEACE NEGOTIATIONS WATCH

Friday, October 15, 2010
Volume IX, Number 38

In this issue:

CONFLICT UPDATES

Bosnia
Burma
Georgia
Kashmir
Kenya
Nepal
Somaliland
Sudan: Darfur
Sudan: Southern Sudan
Tanzania
Thailand
Uganda
Zimbabwe

Bosnia

Izetbegovic Vows to Protect Bosnia Unity Amid Serb Ambitions
World Bulletin, October 6, 2010
Bakir Izetbegovic, the newly elected Bosniac member of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, expressed his determination to achieve a unified Bosnia with a strong central government respectful of all ethnic groups.  He said that nationalist sentiments in the Republika Srpska can be contained by reason and negotiation.  He also underscored the Bosniac commitment to playing a lead role in the dialogue on constitutional reform and European integration.

Fuele Tells Bosnian Leaders to Embrace Reforms
Balkan Insight, October 8, 2010
European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, urged new Bosnian leaders to cooperate and begin implementing reforms.  Bosnia is lagging behind in the EU integration process compared to other Balkan states.  He strongly recommended that the issue of EU accession be placed at the center of the government’s political agenda, starting with reforms to increase the efficiency of the state.

Secretary Clinton Embarks on Balkans Diplomacy Tour
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton started her Balkans tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Secretary Clinton will reaffirm the United States’ support for Bosnia’s peace and relative stability while also urging EU and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) integration.  She is scheduled to meet with Valentin Inzko, the United Nations (UN) High Representative for Bosnia, the newly elected members of the state Presidency, and possibly with Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska’s new President.

Burma

Six Parties Form Pro-Democracy Alliance
The Irrawaddy, October 5, 2010
Six Burmese opposition parties have formed an alliance to increase the strength of pro-democracy parties in the upcoming election.  The National Democratic Force, the Shan Nationals Democratic Party, the Rakhin Nationals Development Party, the Chin National Party, the Union Democratic Party, and the League for Democracy and Peace have joined this alliance.  The parties hope that the alliance will increase their financial and human resources, thereby increasing the chances that their candidates will be elected.  The leaders of the six parties have urged the Burmese people not to boycott the election, despite the call for boycott made by Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) earlier this year.

Aung San Suu Kyi Launches Legal Battle Over Elections
BBC, October 5, 2010
Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyers have launched a lawsuit in the Supreme Court in Rangoon to challenge the junta’s decision to dissolve the NLD.  The lawyers argued that the Electoral Commission (EC) lacks the authority to abolish the NLD because the NLD had never registered with the EC.  Although critics say that the legal action is mainly symbolic, a lawyer for Suu Kyi stated that the NLD wanted to show it had not given up fighting for democracy.

The Junta-Backed Yuzana Company’s Workers Are Armed for Civil War With the Kachin Independence Organization
Kachin News, October 6, 2010
The junta has armed and trained workers of the Yuzana Company in Kachin State to prepare them for a civil war against the Kachin Independence Organization.  Awng Wa, chairman of the Kachin Development Networking Group, expressed concern that Yuzana workers may use threats to coerce the local population to vote for the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).  In addition, company sources said that military leaders had ordered workers to transport 200,000 ethnic Burmese people to the area prior to the November 7 election to outnumber the native Kachins and vote for the USDP.

Georgia

NATO Chief Says Alliance Committed to Georgia Membership
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, October 1, 2010
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that NATO remains committed to granting membership to the Republic of Georgia, praising the country for its contributions in Afghanistan.  The comments came at the opening ceremony for a new NATO liaison office in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.  NATO leaders agreed in 2008 to grant membership to Georgia but have not granted pre-membership status following Georgia’s 2008 war with Russia.

Georgia: No Link Between Russian Pullout and WTO Vote
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, October 8, 2010
Georgian Vice President Nika Gilauri has denied any relationship between Georgia’s pending vote on Russia’s application to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Georgia’s demand that Russia remove its forces from Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  Gilauri said that Georgia will support Moscow’s bid to join the WTO if it makes customs checkpoints in Abkhazia and South Ossetia transparent, as required by the WTO.

Kashmir

India Names Mediators to Hold Kashmir Dialogue
BBC, October 13, 2010
The Indian government has appointed three mediators in an attempt to begin a dialogue with people in Indian-administered Kashmir.  According to Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, the government hopes to start a sustained dialogue with all Kashmiris, including political parties.  The mediators include an Indian journalist, a bureaucrat, and an academic on Kashmir.  Both the hard-line and moderate faction leaders of the separatist All Party Hurriyat Conference of Kashmir have dismissed the move as meaningless, calling the mediating team another offensive “joke” played on Kashmir by the Indian government.

Dialogue With India to Focus on Kashmir: Qureshi
Pakistan Observer, October 13, 2010
In a briefing to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Kashmir must be at the top of the agenda for any future engagements with India.  He added that Pakistan is not interested in another “photo session” and that it is time for a results-oriented dialogue.  Qureshi condemned the violence against Kashmiri civilians by Indian security forces, calling it a violation of basic human rights.  He insisted that Pakistan will continue to provide moral, diplomatic, and political support to the people of Kashmir.

Kenya

PNU and ODM Near Deal on Law Team
Daily Nation, October 9, 2010
Party of National Unity (PNU) Member of Parliament (MP) Abdikadir Mohammed gave up his chairmanship of the Legal Affairs and Justice Commission and his post as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Justice in order to sit on the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC).  The dispute over who should chair the CIOC has renewed animosity between the PNU and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).  The ODM party, which has a majority in the House, has said that it is unfair for a PNU MP to chair more than one powerful committee that will monitor the implementation of laws.

We Are Running Out of Time, Justice Minister Warns Members of Parliament
Daily Nation, October 9, 2010
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo called on Parliament to institute special procedures to simultaneously table multiple bills in order to meet the deadlines for implementing the new laws.  Kilonzo is particularly concerned that the Judicial Service Commission, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, and the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution have not been set up in time to meet the schedule.

Cabinet Team to Draft Rules to Guide ICC Probe
Daily Nation, October 10, 2010
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that a Cabinet subcommittee is set to draft regulations that will govern how the International Criminal Court (ICC) will record statements from government officials.  Following the controversy over Kenyan officials’ initial rejection of the ICC’s request for interviews without a judge present, Judge Kalpana Rawal has been appointed as a witness to the interviews.  The ICC will interview Provincial Commissioners, police officers, and district commissioners who were posted in the areas affected by the post-election violence.  Kilonzo also announced that the subcommittee would review security meeting minutes to determine whether security chiefs ordered the killing of civilians.

Nepal

Twenty-Seven Parties Talk Constitution
The Kathmandu Post, October 5, 2010
The Chairman of the Constituent Assembly called a meeting of twenty-seven parties in the Assembly to discuss their differences in the constitution-drafting process, including the model of government to be implemented.  Major points of disagreement include the balance of power between the President and Prime Minister and the manner of electing the posts.

No PM in Nepal Despite Twelve Rounds of Polls for Post
Press Trust of India, October 10, 2010
Nepal’s Parliament has failed to elect a Prime Minister for the twelfth time in a row.  The sole candidate, Ram Chandra Poudel from the Nepali Congress (NC), remained adamant about not quitting the race despite another abstention by the Maoists and the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist.  Poudel received a total of eighty-nine votes, the lowest number of votes registered thus far.

Three-Party Meet Inconclusive
Republica, October 10, 2010
The Maoists, NC, and CPN-UML have failed to reach an agreement to end the political stalemate in Nepal.  In a meeting at the Maoist parliamentary party office on October 10, the NC again rejected the Maoist request to withdraw its prime ministerial candidacy.  The Maoists in turn declined the NC’s request of a packaged political deal that includes the integration and rehabilitation of former Maoist combatants and the return of property seized by the Maoists.

Somaliland

President Siilanyo Meets British Delegates
Somaliland Press, October 4, 2010
Delegates of the British government met with Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mahamoud Siilanyo to discuss development in Somaliland.  At the meeting, Siilanyo re-stated his commitment to combating terrorism and piracy and stressed the need for cooperation with neighboring countries to work on security and stability.

Sudan: Darfur

Sudan and Darfur Rebels Agree to End Direct Talks Within Two Weeks
Sudan Tribune, October 6, 2010
The Government of Sudan and the Liberty and Justice Movement (LJM) agreed that peace talks would start from where they left off last August and would aim to settle all outstanding issues within two weeks.  Following these direct negotiations, the mediation will draft the final peace agreement.  The mediation expressed the hope that any agreement signed by the Government of Sudan and LJM will also serve as a basis for discussion with other rebel groups.

UN Members Confront Sudan Over Darfur Violence
Associated Press, October 8, 2010
During the U.N. Security Council delegation visit, British Ambassador to the UN Mark Lyall Grant disputed statistics presented by the governor of North Darfur that showed a decrease in violence over the past few years.  Grant countered the government’s information with statistics indicating that violent deaths had more than doubled in the past year.

Negotiating Parties in Doha Score Progress
Sudanese Media Center, October 11, 2010
The Government of Sudan and the LJM recently deliberated issues of power sharing and transitional justice in the Doha Peace Talks.  Sudanese government spokesman Omar Adam Rahama stated that the negotiators have made progress on reconciliation, justice, and compensation mechanisms.  Rahama reiterated the commitment of both parties to reach sustainable peace for Darfur.

Sudan: Southern Sudan

Kadhafi Warns Against ‘Contagion’ of Sudanese Partition
AFP, October 10, 2010
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi warned at the Arab-African summit that a vote for independence in Southern Sudan could lead to partition of other African states.  Attendees of the summit also expressed concerns relating to regional security and stability following the referendum.  Participants adopted a declaration that underscored their respect for Sudanese sovereignty and rejected the International Criminal Court’s indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Tensions Rise Ahead of Sudan Vote
Wall Street Journal, October 11, 2010
While the UN and world leaders are increasing diplomatic efforts to ensure a peaceful referendum, leaders in Sudan are escalating their rhetoric, stressing the dangers of conducting the referendum without first resolving technical issues.  A number of technical issues remain ahead of the referendum, including registering voters and determining criteria for voter eligibility.  Several UN diplomats have expressed the belief that delaying the referendum by no more than one month in order to iron out the technical issues could prevent the outbreak of another war.

Khartoum Rejects Deployment of UN Troops on North-South Sudan Border
Sudan Tribune, October 11, 2010
The Sudanese government has asked UN officials not to deploy peacekeeping forces along the north-south border, saying such action is inconsistent with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.  Southern Sudan’s President Salva Kiir recently requested peacekeeping forces to be installed ahead of the referendum.  While the UN may consider the request, it is unclear whether they will accede to the appeal, as it is currently beyond the UNMIS mandate.

Tanzania

Tanzania the Best Governed Country in EA Says Mo Ibrahim Foundation
The East African, October 6, 2010
Tanzania was voted the best-governed state in East Africa and ranked 15th among the 53 African states by the 2010 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance.  This index assesses progress made by African states in terms of overall governance, safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.  However, Tanzania’s high index score does not match its lagging performance on the Millennium Development Goals.  Tanzania ranks low in every indicator measured as part of the Millennium Development Goals.

EU Observers in Tanzania for Polls
EUbusiness, October 7, 2010
The EU will send 68 observers to Tanzania for the state’s general elections to be held on October 31, 2010.  This monitoring team will observe all aspects of the elections, including electoral campaigns, preparations for the vote, ballot counting, and results.  The observers will also assess the overall management of the elections, as well as media coverage and participation of women.  While Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister welcomed EU monitoring, he also warned against interference in the polls, stressing that the observers’ mission is to observe and report their findings, rather than regulate the process.  The incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to win despite strong opposition.

Tanzania Women Politicians Feel Sidelined by Media Ahead of Elections
The Citizen, October 9, 2010
Civil society in Tanzania has called on the media to provide equal coverage of male and female politicians for the upcoming general election.  Tanzanian media coverage of female politicians is currently negligible compared to that of male politicians, who dominate the news both as sources and as the subjects of news articles.  Female politicians complain that the media does not seek out their views, which limits their ability to campaign and reach out to voters.  If the disparity in media coverage is not addressed, Tanzania may fail to reach the 2015 goal of gender parity in political decision-making set by the Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.

Thailand

Thailand Extends Emergency Decree
UPI, October 5, 2010
The Thai government has decided to extend the state of emergency in Bangkok and three surrounding provinces for an additional three months past the original October 6 end date.  According to a government spokesperson, the decree was extended in response to the continued instability in the capital.

Thai Leader Defends Crackdown as Way to Ensure Stability
New York Times, October 7, 2010
While acknowledging that human rights violations may have occurred, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva defended his government’s emergency policies, saying that the actions were necessary to ensure safety and stability in Thailand.  Abhisit compared his government’s policies to those of other democratic states, and reaffirmed his commitment to remedying human rights violations that have occurred as a result of them.

Thousands of Thai “Red Shirts” Demand Prisoner Release
Reuters, October 10, 2010
At least 7,000 anti-government protesters gathered in Bangkok on October 10 to demand that the government release protesters detained after the violent protests in May.  The protest was the second biggest gathering since September, when some 10,000 people came together as a sign of the revival of the “Red Shirt” movement.  The gathering took place despite the continuation of the state of emergency that has permitted the detention of nearly 175 activists.

Uganda

Uganda LRA Rebels Extend Reach With New Attacks
Reuters, October 8, 2010
The Lord’s Resistance Army’s (LRA) presence has increased in the northern region of the Central African Republic, as evidenced by increasing violent attacks on the civilian population in the region.  On October 4, five civilians were killed in the northern town of Moanda.  It is estimated that the LRA has 300 to 400 active combatants in the area.  The instability has discouraged foreign investment in the mineral resources of the country and has added to the decline in regional security.

Army Recovers 30 Guns in Kaabong
Daily Monitor, October 8, 2010
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UDPF) has confiscated 30 sub machine guns and 105 rounds of ammunition from Karimojong warriors in Kaabong District.  In addition to confiscating the weapons, the Ugandan army has also attempted to block the corridors of illegal arms exchange between the Kaabong District and other countries such as Sudan and Kenya.  The recovery of weapons is part of a long-term disarmament effort in the region.

Uganda’s Army Under Scrutiny for Rights Abuses in Karamoja
The East African, October 11, 2010
The UDPF has been accused of human rights violations including murder, torture, rape, and arbitrary detention in connection with their disarmament campaign of the Karimojong in the Karamoja district of Northern Uganda.  In the early 1990s the Karimojong, a nomadic people, often used deadly force in their cattle raids in Northern Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan.  In order to control violence in the region, the UDPF lead a largely successful disarmament campaign that significantly decreased the presence of militant forces in the region and reduced the illegal exchange of weapons.

Zimbabwe

World Bank Not Yet Ready to Fully Engage Zimbabwe Government- Official
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
The Zimbabwe World Bank Manager, Peter Nicholas, announced that while the World Bank may provide US$2.7 million to Zimbabwe to help rehabilitate the country’s failing water and sanitation infrastructure, it will not start funding major projects in Zimbabwe until it decreases its US$6.7 billion debt.  The Zimbabwe Finance Minister and Economic Planning Minister have encountered difficulty obtaining international assistance with Zimbabwe’s debt due to a failure to address human rights transgressions.

Harare Residents Express Anger Over Delayed Constitutional Outreach Meetings
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Harare residents have expressed considerable anger and frustration following the cancellation of several outreach meetings of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Revising the Constitution in September.  The Committee has also failed to release dates when these meetings will be rescheduled, further contributing to this frustration.  Harare Residents Trust Coordinator Precious Shumba stated that the delays are intended to deny residents their democratic rights, and that Harare residents and civil society groups are considering holding protests to demand the meetings be held.

Zimbabwe’s Unity Government in Trouble
Voice of America, October 8, 2010
Experts have expressed concern over the stability of the Zimbabwe government amid accusations by Prime Minister Tsvangirai that President Mugabe violated the constitution by unilaterally appointing provincial governors.  Tsvangirai has refused to recognize any of Mugabe’s appointments and called upon Mugabe to return the country to constitutional rule.

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.

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