International brief ~ Togo interior minister wants "suicidal" elections delayed

[JURIST] Leading Friday's international brief, Togolese Interior Minister Francois Esso Boko told reporters late Thursday night that he was recommending that what he called the "suicidal electoral process" - the presidential election scheduled for Sunday - be postponed, warning that all signs pointed to it being extremely violent. Esso Boko said he would recommend to the interim president that the election be postponed, that a new interim president be appointed from one of the opposition parties, and that the next year be spent drawing up a new constitution to ensure that when a national election did occur, it wouldn't tear the country apart. Togo currently has an interim president following the several weeks of controversial rule [JURIST report] by Faure Gnassignabe, installed by the military following the death of the former president, his father, before he finally resigned in favor of national elections [JURIST report]. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Togo [JURIST news archive]. IRIN has more. Republique Togolaise, the state news agency, has local coverage in French.

In other international legal news ...

  • Former Yugoslavian Army chief-of-staff Nebojsa Pavkovic told the Serb government [official website] Friday that he would willingly surrender himself to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website]. Pavkovic has been avoiding arrest and transport to the ICTY for several years and was a source of concern to the EU Enlargement Commission and their report on the feasibility of allowing Serbia into the EU. Serbia received a positive report [JURIST report] from the Commission on April 12, but the report expressed a specific desire to see Pavkovic turned over to the ICTY. Pavkovic is scheduled to leave for the ICTY on Monday. Read the ICTY indictment against Pavkovic. Read the official Serb government press release. Reuters has more.

  • Three Ugandan soldiers were arrested Thursday on charges of rape and sexual assault of women in the conflict-heavy Kitgum region. The two women are classed as Internally Displaced Persons [UNHCR backgrounder], basically refugees within their own country attempting to avoid the continuing violence between the Ugandan government [official website] and the rebel group The Lord's Resistance Army [Global Security backgrounder]. The arrests followed allegations by MP Jane Akwero [parliament profile] before the Ugandan Parliament [government website] on Tuesday, where she accused the Ugandan army of raiding an IDP camp in Padibe, 20 km north of Kitgum, and systematically gang raping and assaulting the women they found there. Ugandan Prime Minister Apollo Nsibambi [AfricaDatabase profile] ordered the Ministry of Defense [official website] to investigate the incident, and the three arrests Thursday were the first steps of that investigation. Ugandan law requires death by firing squad for soldiers found guilty of rape. IRIN has more.

  • The Kyrgyz Parliament voted down an amendment to election laws Friday that would have prevented Kyrgyz Prime Minister and Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev [BBC profile] from running for the office of president while still Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister. The amendment, which failed by only three votes, was designed to prohibit the individuals currently holding the Prime Minister's office or governor level positions from running for office for fear of possible abuse of power and misuse of state resources during a campaign. Bakiyev has already announced his intent to run of President in the upcoming national elections. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Kyrgyzstan [JURIST news archive]. Itar-Tass has local coverage.

 

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