International brief ~ UN Security Council travels to Africa for Sudan discussions

[JURIST] The UN Security Council arrives in Nairobi, Kenya on Tuesday in preparation for its official meetings on the peace process in Sudan on Thursday. The meeting marks only the fourth time that the UN Security Council has ever held official proceedings outside of the normal New York City headquarters. Secretary-General Kofi Annan will also be attending the meeting in effort to produce real possibilities of a final resolution to the conflict, along with the presidents of several African nations, including Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, and Kenya. The current peace talks, suspended for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, are scheduled to resume November 26. Human Rights Watch, a human rights NGO, published a report Monday that called on the UN to impose sanctions against the leadership of the Sudan and enforce an arms embargo against the pro-government Arab militias that have been responsible for a large portion of the conflict and displacement of local citizens; Amnesty International filed a similar report Tuesday. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the conflict in the Sudan. The Sudan Tribune has more on the UN meeting and more on the HRW report.

Bosnian-Serb police officials announced Tuesday that they have detained 8 suspects currently named on the wanted list of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The arrests mark the first time Bosnian-Serb national authorities have detained those suspected of committing war crimes. All other individuals currently held by the ICTY either surrendered to or were apprehended by NATO peacekeeping forces. The arrests follow one day after government officials of the Serb entity Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina published a new report Monday on the actions of Bosnian Serbs against Bosnian Muslims in the 1995 massacre in Srebrenica. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the report, saying that it would go a long way toward's healing the region's wounds. Annan also said that he expected concrete results to occur based on the report, either in national courts, or in the ICTY, which is tasked with prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity arising out of the civil and political upheaval in the region during the 1990s. Reuters has more on the arrests. Read the official statement from the Secretary-General's office on the Srpska report here. The UN News Centre has more.

Juan E. Mendez, UN Special Representative on the Prevention of Genocide, warned Monday that the actions of the government in Cote d'Ivoire were deepening xenophobia in the area and were creating an environment conducive towards the violation of human rights and humanitarian norms. Mendez said that the already appalling situation that included torture, arbitrary detention, disappearances and sexual violence was being exacerbated by the government's actions. Mendez announced that he had submitted a written report to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan calling for reform by the goverment. Specifically, Mendez called on Cote d'Ivoire to limit the propaganda and hate speech through official goverment media outlets, warning that failure to comply could result in the situation being referred to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The report follows the imposition of sanctions by the UN Security Council against Cote d'Ivoire Monday. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the situation in Cote d'Ivoire. The UN News Centre has more.

Trial proceedings began Tuesday in the court martial of Major General Carlos Garcia of the Philippines. Garcia is charged with violations of the Philippine Articles of War, Provisions 96 and 97, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman and conduct prejudicial to good conduct and military discipline, to which he pleaded not guilty early Tuesday morning. The charges follow allegations of corruption uncovered during the push for tighter enforcement of anit-graft laws by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The next hearing is scheduled for November 23. Garcia also faces civilian criminal charges of corruption and bribery rising to the level of plunder under the country's new stringent anti-graft laws following the completion of the court martial. A guilty verdice of plunder in the Philippines is punishable by death. JURIST's Paper Chase has background on the allegations agains Garcia. The Philippine Daily Inquirer has more.



 

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