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Posts Tagged ‘United Nations Security Council’

Supporting international response in Central African Republic

Posted by African Press International on December 9, 2013

LONDON, United-Kingdom, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – Foreign Secretary announces UK air transport assistance to France for Central African Republic.

On 5th December, with strong UK support, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2127 authorising the deployment of the African-led International Support Mission to CAR (MISCA), and the deployment of French forces to give assistance. The Mission will contribute to the protection of civilians, the restoration of public order, and the stabilisation of CAR at a critical moment.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“The UN Security Council made an important decision yesterday to authorise African Union and French troops to respond to the security and humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic.

“We are determined to play our part in helping to address the violence. We have therefore agreed with the Government of France that we will help move French equipment to CAR by means of a UK C17 transport aircraft. Three separate flights will take place this month, with the first one due to land in CAR shortly.

“This comes on top of £10 million in UK aid announced on 30 November. Having already contributed £5 million in July, the United Kingdom is now one of the largest donors of humanitarian assistance to the people of CAR. We will continue to work alongside the International Red Cross and UN agencies to help thousands of people gain access to food, water, shelter, sanitation and healthcare to alleviate the desperate humanitarian suffering.”

 

SOURCE

United Kingdom – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

 

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Norway increases its humanitarian support to the Central African Republic

Posted by African Press International on December 8, 2013

OSLO, Norway, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – “I am very concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic. Norway welcomes the decision by the UN Security Council to authorize an expanded peacekeeping force, in order to contribute to the protection of civilians and the restoration of security and public order,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The security and humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic (CAR) is steadily deteriorating. Attacks on civilians and violations of human rights are widespread, and law and order is virtually absent. The local population and displaced persons are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

The Norwegian Government is therefore increasing its humanitarian support by NOK 20 million, to the International Committee of the Red Cross (NOK 15 million) and Médecins Sans Frontières (NOK 5 million). Norway also contributes to the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in CAR. The total humanitarian support to CAR now stands at NOK 32 million. In addition, Norway contributes to other UN funds and programmes in the country.

“I am concerned about the impact of the crisis on the region. There is a risk that the lawlessness we are seeing in the Central African Republic will turn the country into a haven for extremists, armed groups and international organised criminals, thus increasing instability in the region,” Mr Brende said.

The Foreign Minister considers the decision by the UN Security Council to authorise the deployment of an African-led stabilisation force (MISCA), which will be assisted by an expanded French force, to be crucial for the country.

“We are following the situation closely and we will consider further contributions to the humanitarian response early next year,” Mr Brende said, underlining that all parties to the conflict are obliged under international humanitarian law to ensure that people in need have access to humanitarian assistance.

 

SOURCE

Norway – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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SECURITY COUNCIL PRESS STATEMENT ON NELSON MANDELA

Posted by African Press International on December 7, 2013

NEW YORK, December 6, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gérard Araud ( France):

The members of the Security Council are profoundly saddened to hear of the death of President Nelson Mandela. He was an inspirational leader who transformed the lives of millions of people around the world. The members of the Security Council extend their deepest condolences to his family and to the Government and people of South Africa at this time.

The members of the Security Council express their deepest admiration for the outstanding qualities of moral and political leadership displayed by Nelson Mandela throughout his lifetime. His lifelong fight against racial oppression and his decisive role in shaping the peaceful transition to a united and democratic South Africa are a lasting legacy to his country and to the world.

The members of the Security Council commend the adoption in 2009 of Nelson Mandela International Day, the first ever international day in honour of an individual. The members of the Security Council consider this to be a reflection of the magnitude of Nelson Mandela’s contribution to freedom and justice. Nelson Mandela Day is a celebration of the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact, just as Nelson Mandela did himself.

The members of the Security Council express their solidarity with the people of South Africa at this sad time. President Nelson Mandela will forever be remembered as someone who gave up so much of his life in the struggle for freedom, so that millions could have a brighter future.

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Kenya emerges victorious at the Twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties held in the Hague, by securing amendments to the Rome Statute – to their satisfaction

Posted by African Press International on November 27, 2013

Kenya has emerged victorious at the twelfth session of the Assembly of States Parties by securing amendments to their satisfaction. This means now that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are not required to appear in the International Criminal Court in person but only represented by Counsel.

Part 1

Part 2

This is good news for African Union who had pushed for the deferral because they did not want to see Kenya’s Commander-in-Chief and President of the Republic of Kenya humiliated, sitting daily in the court instead of serving the people of Kenya.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed was thrilled to see her delegation manage their assignment. The delegation was led by the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai. In the delegation were many other senior government officials among them, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Keriako Tobiko.

Today is a celebration for those Kenyans and friends of Kenya who supported the amendments because they do not want the Head of State and his deputy to be humiliated.

However, there are those who are disappointed like the NGOs and some members of the Kenya opposition parties who wanted to see the humiliation of the President and his deputy carried through.

Ambassador Amina Mohamed informed the media that the amendments also allows for the Video link in other cases in the future. She hopes the video link trials  can be extended to cover Mr Joshua Arap sang since his case is already ongoing.

When asked if the trial via video link will be extended to Mr Barasa whose warrant of arrest has been issued by the ICC accusing him of confusing witnesses, the Cabinet Secretary stated that there was no discussion in that direction. Mr Barasa, therefore, will have to face the ICC in person to answer the charges if he is exported to the Hague by the Kenyan authorities. He has gone to court to block exportation. Mr Barasa recently told the media that he worked with ICC investigators on witnesses and that they turned against him when he was considered hostile to the needs of the ICC prosecution. Barasa is a Kenyan journalist who has claimed that he was being paid by the prosecution investigators whenever he gave them the help they needed.

Did Mr Barasa break the code of conduct as a journalist in any way?

End

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Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2125 (2013), Tightening Anti-Piracy – considering Creation of Specialized Courts in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on November 20, 2013

A good step for enhancement of security in the African Continent

NEW YORK, November 19, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Reiterating its condemnation of all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, the Security Council today renewed for another year authorizations, first agreed in 2008, for international action to fight those crimes in cooperation with Government authorities.

Through the unanimous adoption of resolution 2125 (2013) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council renewed its call upon States and regional organizations that had the capacity to do so to fight ongoing sea crimes by deploying naval vessels, arms and military aircraft, and through seizures and disposition of boats, vessels and weapons used in the commission of those crimes.

It also decided that the arms embargo imposed on Somalia by resolution 733 (1992) did not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment, or to the provision of assistance, destined for the sole use of States, international, regional and subregional organizations taking measures in line with the authorizations.

By other terms, the Council underlined the primary responsibility of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery off their coast, requesting them to pass a complete set of anti-piracy laws without further delay, and urging continued efforts, with international support, to adopt an exclusive economic zone, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Somali authorities were also called on to bring to justice those who were using Somali territory to plan, facilitate or undertake those crimes. All States were urged to adopt legislation to facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, and to assist Somalia — at its request and with notification to the Secretary-General — in strengthening its maritime capacity. They were also called on to criminalize piracy under domestic law.

The Council affirmed that the authorizations, originally outlined in resolutions 1846 and 1851 of 2008, applied only with respect to the situation in Somalia, and followed receipt of the 12 November letter conveying the country’s consent. They did not affect States’ rights or obligations under international law, particularly the United Nations Convention. In that context, the Council reiterated its decision to consider the establishment of specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other regional States, with substantial international participation, as outlined in resolution 2015 (2011).

More broadly, the Council urged all States to take measures under their domestic law to prevent the illicit financing of piracy and laundering of its proceeds, and further, to investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the Somali coast, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation. Urging States to share information with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), for use in a global piracy database, the Council also noted the importance of securing the safe delivery of World Food Programme (WFP) assistance by sea.

The meeting began at 10:05 a.m. and 10:07 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2125 (2013) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous resolutions concerning the situation in Somalia, especially resolutions 1814 (2008), 1816 (2008), 1838 (2008), 1844 (2008), 1846 (2008), 1851 (2008), 1897 (2009), 1918 (2010), 1950 (2010), 1976 (2011), 2015 (2011), 2020 (2011) and 2077 (2012), as well as the statement of its President (S/PRST/2010/16) of 25 August 2010 and (S/PRST/2012/24) of 19 November 2012,

“Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/623), as requested by resolution 2077 (2012), on the implementation of that resolution and on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia,

“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, including Somalia’s sovereign rights in accordance with international law, with respect to offshore natural resources, including fisheries,

“While welcoming the significant decrease in reported incidents of piracy off the coast of Somalia, which areat the lowest level since 2006, continuing to be gravely concerned by the ongoing threat that piracy and armed robbery at sea pose to the prompt, safe, and effective delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia and the region, to the safety of seafarers and other persons, to international navigation and the safety of commercial maritime routes, and to other vulnerable ships, including fishing activities in conformity with international law, and also gravely concerned by the extended range of the piracy threat into the western Indian Ocean and adjacent sea areas and increased pirate capacities,

“Expressing concern about the reported involvement of children in piracy off the coast of Somalia,

“Recognizing that the ongoing instability in Somalia contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and stressing the need to continue the comprehensive response by the international community to repress piracy and armed robbery at sea and tackle its underlying causes, recognizing the need to undertake long-term and sustainable efforts to repress piracy and the need to create adequate economic opportunities for the citizens of Somalia,

“Recognizing the need to investigate and prosecute not only suspects captured at sea, but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from such attacks, and reiterating its concern over persons suspected of piracy having been released without facing justice, reaffirming that the failure to prosecute persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia undermines anti-piracy efforts,

“Noting the report of the Secretary-General (S/2013/623), particularly section IX on ‘Allegations of illegal fishing and illegal dumping, including of toxic substances, off the coast of Somalia’,

“Further reaffirming that international law, as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (‘The Convention’), sets out the legal framework applicable to activities in the ocean, including countering piracy and armed robbery at sea,

“Underlining the primary responsibility of the Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia; noting the several requests from Somali authorities for international assistance to counter piracy off its coast, including the letter of 12 November 2013, from the Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations expressing the appreciation of Somali authorities to the Security Council for its assistance, expressing their willingness to consider working with other States and regional organizations to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and requesting that the provisions of resolution 2077 (2012) be renewed for an additional 12 months,

“Encouraging implementationof the Somali Maritime Resource and Security Strategy, which was endorsed by the President of the Federal Government of Somalia and participating states at the fourteenth Plenary of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) in New York on 1 May 2013; at the International Somalia Conference in London on 7 May 2013, and at the European Union’s ‘New Deal for Somalia’ Conference in Brussels on 16 September 2013,

“Recognizing the work of the CGPCS to facilitate the prosecution of suspected pirates and, in accordance with international law, to establish an on-going network and mechanism for sharing information and evidence between investigators and prosecutors, welcoming the development of the Capacity Building Coordination Group under Working Group 1 of the CGPCS, and welcoming the work by Working Group 5 of the CGPCS to disrupt illicit financial flows linked to piracy,

“Welcoming the financing provided by the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Combating Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (the Trust Fund) to strengthen regional ability to prosecute suspected pirates and imprison those convicted in accordance with applicable international human rights law, noting with appreciation the assistance provided by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Counter-Piracy Programme, and being determined to continue efforts to ensure that pirates are held accountable,

“Commending the efforts of the European Union operation ATALANTA, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation Ocean Shield, Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force 151 commanded by Pakistan and the United Kingdom, as well as United States ships assigned to Combined Task Force 151 and NATO Task Force 508, the counter-piracy activities of the African Union onshore in Somalia and the naval activities of the Southern Africa Development Community, and other States acting in a national capacity in cooperation with Somali authorities and each other, to suppress piracy and to protect vulnerable ships transiting through the waters off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction Initiative (SHADE) and the efforts of individual countries, including China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Russian Federation, which have deployed naval counter-piracy missions in the region, as stated in the Secretary-General’s report (S/2013/623),

“Noting the efforts of flag States for taking measures to permit vessels sailing under their flag transiting the High Risk Area (HRA) to embark vessel protection detachments and privately contracted armed security personnel (PCASP), and encouraging States to regulate such activities in accordance with applicable international law and permit charters to favour arrangements that make use of such measures,

“Noting the request of some Member States on the need to review the boundaries of the HRA on an objective and transparent basis, taking into account actual incidents of piracy, and noting that the HRA is set and defined by the insurance and maritime industry,

“Welcoming the capacity-building efforts in the region made by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)-funded Djibouti Code of Conduct, the Trust Fund and the European Union’s activities under EUCAP Nestor, which is working with the Federal Government of Somalia to strengthen its criminal justice system, and recognizing the need for all engaged international and regional organizations to coordinate and cooperate fully,

“Supporting the development of a coastal police force, noting with appreciation the efforts made by the IMO and the shipping industry to develop and update guidance, best management practices and recommendations to assist ships to prevent and suppress piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, including in the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean area, and recognizing the work of the IMO and the CGPCS in this regard, noting the efforts of the International Organization for Standardization, which has developed industry standards of training and certification for Private Maritime Security Companies when providing privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas, and further welcoming the European Union’s EUCAP Nestor, which is working to develop the sea-going maritime security capacities of Somalia, Djibouti, Kenya, Seychelles and Tanzania,

“Noting with concern that the continuing limited capacity and domestic legislation to facilitate the custody and prosecution of suspected pirates after their capture has hindered more robust international action against the pirates off the coast of Somalia, too often has led to pirates being released without facing justice, regardless of whether there is sufficient evidence to support prosecution, and reiterating that, consistent with the provisions of ‘The Convention’ concerning the repression of piracy, the 1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (‘SUA Convention’) provides for parties to create criminal offences, establish jurisdiction, and accept delivery of persons responsible for or suspected of seizing or exercising control over a ship by force or threat thereof or any other form of intimidation,

“Underlining the importance of continuing to enhance the collection, preservation and transmission to competent authorities of evidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and welcoming the ongoing work of the IMO, INTERPOL and industry groups to develop guidance to seafarers on preservation of crime scenes following acts of piracy, and noting the importance for the successful prosecution of acts of piracy of enabling seafarers to give evidence in criminal proceedings,

“Further recognizing that pirate networks continue to rely on kidnapping and hostage-taking, and that these activities help generate funding to purchase weapons, gain recruits and continue their operational activities, thereby jeopardizing the safety and security of civilians and restricting the flow of free commerce, and welcoming international efforts to collect and share information to disrupt the pirate enterprise, as exemplified by INTERPOL’s Global Database on Maritime Piracy, and taking note of the ongoing efforts of the Regional Fusion and Law Enforcement Centre for Safety and Security at Sea (formerly the Regional Anti Piracy Prosecution and Intelligence Coordination Centre), hosted by Seychelles to combat piracy,

“Reaffirming international condemnation of acts of kidnapping and hostage-taking, including offences contained within the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, strongly condemning the continuing practice of hostage-taking by pirates operating off the coast of Somalia, expressing serious concern at the inhuman conditions hostages face in captivity, recognizing the adverse impact on their families, calling for the immediate release of all hostages, and noting the importance of cooperation between Member States on the issue of hostage-taking and the prosecution of suspected pirates for taking hostages,

“Commending Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania for their efforts to prosecute suspected pirates in their national courts, and noting with appreciation the assistance provided by the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme, the Trust Fund and other international organizations and donors, in coordination with the CGPCS, to support Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Somalia and other States in the region with their efforts to prosecute, or incarcerate in a third State after prosecution elsewhere, pirates, including facilitators and financiers ashore, consistent with applicable international human rights law, and emphasizing the need for States and international organizations to further enhance international efforts in this regard,

“Welcoming the readiness of the national and regional administrations of Somalia to cooperate with each other and with States who have prosecuted suspected pirates with a view to enabling convicted pirates to be repatriated back to Somalia under suitable prisoner transfer arrangements, consistent with applicable international law, including international human rights law and acknowledging the return from Seychelles to Somalia of convicted prisoners willing and eligible to serve their sentences in Somalia,

“Recalling the reports of the Secretary-General on the modalities for the establishment of specialized Somali anti-piracy courts (S/2011/360 and S/2012/50), prepared pursuant to paragraph 26 of resolution 1976 (2011) and paragraph 16 of resolution 2015 (2011),

“Stressing the need for States to consider possible methods to assist the seafarers who are victims of pirates, and welcoming in this regard the Trust Fund’s establishment in November 2012 of the ‘Hostage Support Programme’ to provide support to hostages during their release and return home, as well as to their families throughout the hostage situation,

“Recognizing the progress made by the CGPCS and UNODC in the use of public information tools to raise awareness of the dangers of piracy, highlight the best practices to eradicate this criminal phenomenon, and inform the public of the dangers posed by piracy,

“Further noting with appreciation the ongoing efforts by UNODC to support efforts to enhance Somalia’s maritime security and law enforcement capacities, also noting efforts by UNODC and UNDP and the funding provided by the Trust Fund, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and other donors to develop regional judicial and law enforcement capacity to investigate, arrest and prosecute suspected pirates and to incarcerate convicted pirates consistent with applicable international human rights law,

“Bearing in mind the Djibouti Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, noting the operations of information-sharing centres in Yemen, Kenya and Tanzania and the regional maritime training centre in Djibouti, and recognizing the efforts of signatory States to develop the appropriate regulatory and legislative frameworks to combat piracy, enhance their capacity to patrol the waters of the region, interdict suspect vessels, and prosecute suspected pirates,

“Emphasizing that peace and stability within Somalia, the strengthening of State institutions, economic and social development and respect for human rights and the rule of law are necessary to create the conditions for a durable eradication of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and further emphasizing that Somalia’s long-term security rests with the effective development by Somali authorities of the Somali National Security Forces,

“Noting with appreciation recent high-level events on Somalia which have generated substantial pledges of support, and underlining the importance of delivering on any support pledged at these events,

“Taking note with appreciation the intention expressed by the Indian Ocean Rim Association at the thirteenth meeting of its Council of Ministers to bolster maritime security and safety, including through the upcoming Indian Ocean Dialogue in India, which will explore concrete options to enhance counter-piracy cooperation, including through improved maritime information-sharing arrangements and stronger national legal capacity and laws, and encouraging the Indian Ocean Rim Association to pursue efforts that are complementary to and coordinated with the ongoing work of the CGPCS,

“Noting that the joint counter-piracy efforts of the international community and private sector have resulted in a sharp decline in pirate attacks, as well as hijackings since 2011 and emphasizing that without further action, the significant progress made in reducing the number of successful pirate attacks is reversible,

“Determining that the incidents of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia are an important factor exacerbating the situation in Somalia, which continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1. Reiterates that it condemns and deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“2. Recognizes that the ongoing instability in Somalia is one of the underlying causes of the problem of piracy and contributes to the problem of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, while piracy, in turn, exacerbates instability by introducing large amounts of illicit cash that fuels additional crime and corruption in Somalia;

“3. Stresses the need for a comprehensive response to repress piracy and tackle its underlying causes by the international community;

“4. Underlines the primary responsibility of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and requests the Somali authorities, with assistance from the Secretary-General and relevant UN entities, to pass a complete set of anti-piracy laws without further delay, and urges Somalia to continue efforts, with the support of the international community, to adopt an exclusive economic zone in accordance with ‘The Convention’;

“5. Recognizes the need to continue investigating and prosecuting those who plan, organize or illicitly finance or profit from pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy, urges States, working in conjunction with relevant international organizations, to adopt legislation to facilitate prosecution of suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia;

“6. Calls upon the Somali authorities to interdict, and upon interdiction to investigate and prosecute pirates and to patrol the territorial waters off the coast of Somalia to suppress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea;

“7. Calls upon the Somali authorities to make all efforts to bring to justice those who are using Somali territory to plan, facilitate, or undertake criminal acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea and calls upon Member States to assist Somalia, at the request of Somali authorities and with notification to the Secretary-General, to strengthen maritime capacity in Somalia, including regional authorities and stresses that any measures undertaken pursuant to this paragraph shall be consistent with applicable international law, in particular international human rights law;

“8. Calls upon States to cooperate also, as appropriate, on the issue of hostage taking, and the prosecution of suspected pirates fortakinghostages;

“9. Recognizes the need for States, international and regional organizations, and other appropriate partners to exchange evidence and information for anti-piracy law enforcement purposes with a view to ensuring effective prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of convicted pirates, and with a view to the arrest and prosecution of key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance and profit from piracy operations, and keeps under review the possibility of applying targeted sanctions against individuals or entities that plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from piracy operations if they meet the listing criteria set out in paragraph 8, resolution 1844 (2008); and calls upon all States to cooperate fully with the Somalia and Eritrea Monitoring Group including on information-sharing regarding possible violations of the arms embargo or charcoal ban;

“10. Renews its call upon States and regional organizations that have the capacity to do so to take part in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in particular, consistent with this resolution and international law, by deploying naval vessels, arms, military aircraft, by providing basing and logistical support for counter-piracy forces, and by seizing and disposing of boats, vessels, arms, and other related equipment used in the commission of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, or for which there are reasonable grounds for suspecting such use;

“11. Commends the work of the CGPCS to facilitate coordination in order to deter acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, in cooperation with the IMO, flag States and Somali authorities and urges States and international organizations to continue to support these efforts;

“12. Encourages Member States to continue to cooperate with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea, notes the primary role of Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, and decides that for a further period of twelve months from the date of this resolution to renew the authorizations as set out in paragraph 10 of resolution 1846 (2008) and paragraph 6 of resolution 1851 (2008), as renewed by paragraph 7 of resolution 1897 (2009), paragraph 7 of resolution 1950 (2010), paragraph 9 of resolution 2020 (2011), and paragraph 12 of resolution 2077 (2012) granted to States and regional organizations cooperating with Somali authorities in the fight against piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, for which advance notification has been provided by Somali authorities to the Secretary-General;

“13. Affirms that the authorizations renewed in this resolution apply only with respect to the situation in Somalia and shall not affect the rights or obligations or responsibilities of Member States under international law, including any rights or obligations, under ‘The Convention’, with respect to any other situation, and underscores in particular that this resolution shall not be considered as establishing customary international law; and affirms further that such authorizations have been renewed only following the receipt of the 12 November 2013 letter conveying the consent of Somali authorities;

“14. Decides that the arms embargo on Somalia imposed by paragraph 5 of resolution 733 (1992) and further elaborated upon by paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 1425 (2002) and modified by paragraphs 33 to 38 of resolution 2093 (2013)does not apply to supplies of weapons and military equipment or the provision of assistance destined for the sole use of Member States, international, regional and subregional organizations undertaking measures in accordance with paragraph 12 above;

“15. Requests that cooperating States take appropriate steps to ensure that the activities they undertake pursuant to the authorizations in paragraph 12 do not have the practical effect of denying or impairing the right of innocent passage to the ships of any third State;

“16. Calls upon all States, and in particular flag, port and coastal States, States of the nationality of victims and perpetrators of piracy and armed robbery, and other States with relevant jurisdiction under international law and national legislation, to cooperate in determining jurisdiction, and in the investigation and prosecution of all persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia, including anyone who incites or facilitates an act of piracy, consistent with applicable international law including international human rights law to ensure that all pirates handed over to judicial authorities are subject to a judicial process, and to render assistance by, among other actions, providing disposition and logistics assistance with respect to persons under their jurisdiction and control, such as victims and witnesses and persons detained as a result of operations conducted under this resolution;

“17. Calls upon all States to criminalize piracy under their domestic law and to favourably consider the prosecution of suspected, and imprisonment of those convicted, pirates apprehended off the coast of Somalia, and their facilitators and financiers ashore, consistent with applicable international law, including international human rights law;

“18. Reiterates its decision to continue its consideration of the establishment of specialized anti-piracy courts in Somalia and other States in the region with substantial international participation and/or support, as set forth in resolution 2015 (2011), and the importance of such courts having jurisdiction over not only suspects captured at sea, but also anyone who incites or intentionally facilitates piracy operations, including key figures of criminal networks involved in piracy who plan, organize, facilitate, or illicitly finance or profit from such attack, and encourages the CGPCS to continue its discussions in this regard;

“19. Welcomes, in this context, the UNODC Counter-Piracy Programme’s continued work with authorities in Somalia and in neighbouring States to ensure that individuals suspected of piracy are prosecuted and those convicted are imprisoned in a manner consistent with international law, including international human rights law;

“20. Urges all States to take appropriate actions under their existing domestic law to prevent the illicit financing of acts of piracy and the laundering of its proceeds;

“21. Urges States, in cooperation with INTERPOL and Europol, to further investigate international criminal networks involved in piracy off the coast of Somalia, including those responsible for illicit financing and facilitation;

“22. Commends INTERPOL for operationalizing a global piracy database that consolidates information about piracy off the coast of Somalia and facilitates the development of actionable analysis for law enforcement, and urges all States to share such information with INTERPOL for use in the database, through appropriate channels;

“23. Commends the contributions of the Trust Fund and the IMO-funded Djibouti Code of Conduct and urges both state and non-state actors affected by piracy, most notably the international shipping community, to contribute to them;

“24. Urges States parties to ‘The Convention’ and the SUA Convention to implement fully their relevant obligations under these conventions and customary international law and to cooperate with the UNODC, IMO and other States and other international organizations to build judicial capacity for the successful prosecution of persons suspected of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“25. Acknowledges the recommendations and guidance provided by the IMO on preventing and suppressing piracy and armed robbery at sea; and urges States, in collaboration with the shipping and insurance industries, and the IMO, to continue to develop and implement avoidance, evasion, and defensive best practices and advisories to take when under attack or when sailing in the waters off the coast of Somalia, and further urges States to make their citizens and vessels available for forensic investigation as appropriate at the first suitable port of call immediately following an act or attempted act of piracy or armed robbery at sea or release from captivity;

“26. Encourages flag States and port States to further consider the development of safety and security measures on board vessels, including, where applicable, developing regulations for the use of PCASP on board ships, aimed at preventing and suppressing piracy off the coast of Somalia, through a consultative process, including through the IMO and ISO;

“27. Invites the IMO to continue its contributions to the prevention and suppression of acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships in coordination, in particular, with the UNODC, the World Food Program (WFP), the shipping industry, and all other parties concerned, and recognizes the IMO’s role concerning privately contracted armed security personnel on board ships in high-risk areas;

“28. Notes the importance of securing the safe delivery of WFP assistance by sea, welcomes the on-going work by the WFP, EU operation ATALANTA and flag States with regard to Vessel Protection Detachments on WFP vessels;

“29. Requests States and regional organizations cooperating with Somali authorities to inform the Security Council and the Secretary-General in nine months of the progress of actions undertaken in the exercise of the authorizations provided in paragraph 12 above and further requests all States contributing through the CGPCS to the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia, including Somalia and other States in the region, to report by the same deadline on their efforts to establish jurisdiction and cooperation in the investigation and prosecution of piracy;

“30. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council within 11 months of the adoption of this resolution on the implementation of this resolution and on the situation with respect to piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia;

“31. Expresses its intention to review the situation and consider, as appropriate, renewing the authorizations provided in paragraph 12 above for additional periods upon the request of Somali authority;

“32. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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The deferral of the ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto fails to get enough votes at the UN today

Posted by African Press International on November 15, 2013

The United Nations Security Council has rejected the request by the African Union to grant a deferral in order to allow Kenya‘s President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto to give more of their time to the running of the country.

It now remains to be seen what action the AU will take because it had decided that if deferral is not granted, the AU member states may pull out of the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court.

During the vote at the Security Council, 8 countries abstained while only 7 voted for the deferral. To win a vote at the UNSC, one requires to get 9 votes and no veto.

Mr Kenyatta’s case is set to start on February the 5th 2014 while Mr Ruto’s case resumes next week on the 21st November 2013.

There are many analysts now who say there is a possibility that Mr Kenyatta may not turn up when his case starts, Those who want him well, however, fear that if he does not meet up the ICC will issue a warrant of arrest, something many say will not be good for the country. These group is encauraging the president to atten the trial.

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Security Council Extends Mandate of African Union Mission in Somalia

Posted by African Press International on November 13, 2013

NEW YORK, November 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The Security Council today extended the mandate of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) to 31 October 2014, requesting the African Union to increase the troop strength of that regional peacekeeping body from 17,731 to a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel as part of overall efforts to combat the increasingly asymmetrical tactics of Al-Shabaab rebels in the country.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2124 (2013) under the Charter’s Chapter VII, the 15-member body also expanded the logistical support package for AMISOM for a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel until 31 October 2014. It agreed with the Secretary-General that conditions in Somalia were not yet appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping operation, taking note of benchmarks for such efforts outlined in his 14 October letter (document S/2013/606).

By other terms, the Council underlined that increases in force strength were to provide enhancement of AMISOM’s military capacity for 18 to 24 months, and further, were part of the Mission’s overall exit strategy, after which a decrease in force strength would be considered. It agreed with the Secretary-General on the critical need for sourcing contingent-owned equipment, including force enablers and multipliers, either from existing AMISOM troop contributors or other States, citing the particular need for up to 12 military helicopters. It encouraged Member States to respond in that regard.

Further, the Council requested the Secretary-General to work with the African Union to improve by 1 January 2014 the strategic management of AMISOM by strengthening command and control structures, the coordination of contingents, joint operations with the Somali National Army (SNA) and information management.

As for Somali institutions, the Council requested the United Nations Support Office for AMISOM to provide – as exceptional support — food, water, fuel, transport, tents and “in-theatre” medical evacuation to front-line units of the Somali National Army, the funding for which would be provided from an appropriate United Nations trust fund.

Regarding United Nations personnel, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s intention to deploy a guard force to strengthen security at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). It requested details on its deployment “as soon as possible” and emphasized, in that context, the importance of AMISOM’s protection of Mogadishu International Airport Compound within the troop ceiling. On the political front, it urged increased collaboration among the African Union, United Nations and Somali Government towards a comprehensive approach to peace, security and development.

Speaking after adoption, the representative of the Russian Federation said he had voted in favour of the resolution to support African Union efforts in fostering settlement in Somalia, based on the key role that its mission had played in that regard. However, some of his Government’s concerns had not been borne in mind. He was seriously concerned by the wording in paragraph 21, which outlined the Somali Government’s requirement to provide full access to humanitarian organizations, which ran counter to the principles of humanitarian assistance.

He went on to say that the Federal Government was not in a position to control a significant part of the country and that humanitarian organizations were leaving Somalia not because they had been hindered by the Government, but rather, because of the security situation. In establishing humanitarian principles, the Council was getting into an area not covered by its remit — standard setting, which was covered by the General Assembly. Therefore, he did not consider the wording in paragraph 21 as setting a precedent.

The representative of Somalia said that, over the last year, the important parts of his country’s six-pillar policy had been implemented. While the Council had “sustained” Somalia for a long time, there was now a light at the end of the tunnel. Its partnership in support of critical priorities was at a turning point. Indeed, the Council had noted the achievements of AMISOM to liberate Somalia from the scourge of Al-Shabaab, as well as the assistance and training that had enabled his Government to liberate the residual components of that group.

He went on to express hope that the Somali Army contingent fighting with AMISOM to defeat Al-Shabaab would be supported in a more consistent and timely manner by the United Nations, raising questions over when resources from the United Nations trust fund would arrive. AMISOM had been given 18 to 24 months to complete its mandate and he wondered if the trust fund would allow Somali armed forces to liberate the country in enough time for preparations for elections in 2015-2016 to proceed. All means should be applied to ensure those funds arrived as soon as possible. “Otherwise it will be a disaster for Somalia once again,” he cautioned.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:25 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2124 (2013) reads as follows:

“The Security Council,

“Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in Somalia, in particular resolutions 2036 (2012), 2093 (2013) and 2111 (2013), and statements of its President on the situation in Somalia,

“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, and reiterating its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia,

“Taking note of the Joint African Union (AU)-United Nations Mission on the benchmarks for a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in Somalia and their assessment of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali National Security Forces, and underlining the importance it attaches to greater peace, prosperity and stability in Somalia,

“Taking note of the AU Peace and Security Council’s 10 October Communiqué on the Joint AU-United Nations Review of AMISOM and the benchmarking exercise, and welcoming in particular its call to all AU Member States to contribute financially to AMISOM,

“Welcoming the constructive manner in which both the Secretariat and the AU conducted the joint review,

“Underlining its gratitude for the work of AMISOM, in particular the extraordinary sacrifices made by AMISOM forces and personnel in pursuit of peace in Somalia,

“Welcoming the support of the international community to peace and stability in Somalia, in particular the European Union for its substantial contribution in supporting AMISOM, and emphasizing the importance of new contributors sharing the financial burden of supporting AMISOM,

“Noting with appreciation recent high-level events on Somalia which have generated substantial pledges of support, and underlining the importance of delivering on any support pledged at these events,

“Condemning recent Al-Shabaab attacks in Somalia and beyond, which serve to undermine the peace and reconciliation process in Somalia, and expressing its solidarity with the people and Governments of Somalia and the region,

“Expressing serious concern at the Secretary-General’s assessment in his

14 October letter to the Security Council that recent security gains against Al Shabaab are at serious risk of being reversed, and noting that the Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM have now assumed a more defensive posture,

“Noting the Secretary-General’s assessment that there is an urgent need to resume and strengthen the military campaign against Al Shabaab, which requires an enhancement of international support to the Somali National Security Forces and to AMISOM,

“Noting the Secretary-General’s assessment that a comprehensive strategy that includes political, economic and military components is needed to reduce the asymmetrical threat posed by Al-Shabaab,

“Acting under Chapter VII of the charter of the United Nations,

AMISOM

“1. Decides to authorize the Member States of the AU to maintain the deployment of AMISOM, as set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 2093 (2013), until 31 October 2014, which shall be authorized to take all necessary measures, in full compliance with its obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, and in full respect of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia, to carry out its mandate;

“2. Agrees with the Secretary-General that conditions in Somalia are not yet appropriate for the deployment of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation, takes note of the benchmarks for a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation as set out in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter, and endorsed in the 11 October letter of the AU Commission Chairperson, and requests that the Secretary-General keeps progress against the benchmarks under continuous review, in consultation with the AU, and with a view to creating conducive conditions for the potential deployment of a United Nations Peacekeeping Operation and the hand-over of security responsibilities to national authorities;

“3. Requests the AU to increase AMISOM’s force strength from 17,731 to a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel as set out in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter;

“4. Decides to expand the logistical support package for AMISOM, referred to in paragraph 4 of resolution 2093 (2013), for a maximum of 22,126 uniformed personnel until 31 October 2014, ensuring the accountability and transparency of expenditure of the United Nations funds as set out in paragraph 6 of resolution 1910 (2010), and consistent with the requirements of the Secretary-General’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy;

“5. Underlines that, in line with the Joint United Nations-AU Review of AMISOM, the increases in the force strength decided in this resolution are to provide a short-term enhancement of AMISOM’s military capacity, for a period of 18 to 24 months and as part of an overall exit strategy for AMISOM, after which a decrease in AMISOM’s force strength will be considered;

“6. Agrees with the Secretary-General on the critical need for sourcing contingent owned equipment including force enablers and multipliers as provided for in paragraph 6 of resolution 2036 (2012) either from existing AMISOM Troop-Contributing Countries or other Member States, emphasizes in particular the need for an appropriate aviation component of up to twelve military helicopters, and encourages Member States to respond to AU efforts to mobilize such equipment;

“7. Reiterates paragraphs 5 of resolution 2093 (2013) regarding logistical support to AMISOM;

“8. Further reiterates paragraph 13 of resolution 2093 (2013) on the strengthening of women and children’s protection in AMISOM operations and activities;

“9. Requests the Secretary-General to work closely with the AU in order to support the implementation of this resolution, in particular by improving efficiency in the planning and strategic management of AMISOM, including strengthening command and control structures, the operational coordination of contingents, joint operations with the SNA, and information management, through a new Concept of Operations by 1 January 2014, with a view to enabling AMISOM to respond to the increasingly asymmetrical tactics used by Al-Shabaab, through an effective resumption of the military campaign against Al-Shabaab, which would rapidly reduce its capacity to control key strategic locations, and further requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide technical and expert advice to the AU in the planning, deployment and management of AMISOM through the United Nations office to the AU, and reiterates its request to the Secretary-General, in view of the substantial increases in AMISOM capabilities and support to the SNA, to enhance the provision of technical advice to the AU through existing United Nations mechanisms;

“10. Requests the AU to advance efforts to implement a system to address allegations of misconduct, which includes clear mechanisms for receiving and tracking allegations, as well as for following up with troop-contributing countries on the results of the investigations and disciplinary actions taken as applicable, and requests the United Nations to redouble its efforts to advise and provide guidance to the AU in this endeavour;

“11. Reiterates its request, and that of the AU Peace and Security Council, for AMISOM to develop further an effective approach to the protection of civilians, and stresses in particular the urgent need for AMISOM to establish and use a Civilian Casualty Tracking, Analysis and Response Cell, as requested in resolution 2093 (2013);

“12. Underlines the importance of AMISOM abiding by all requirements applicable to it under international human rights and humanitarian law, further underlines in particular the need for AMISOM to ensure that any detainees in their custody, including disengaged combatants, are treated in strict compliance with applicable obligations under international humanitarian law and human rights law, including ensuring their humane treatment and further requests AMISOM to allow appropriate access to detainees by a neutral body, and to establish Standard Operating Procedures for the handover of any detainees, including children, who come into their custody during a military operation;

“13. Reiterates its call for new donors to support AMISOM through the provision of additional funding for troop stipends, equipment, technical assistance and uncaveated funding for AMISOM to the United Nations Trust Fund for AMISOM, and underlines the AU’s call for their Member States to provide financial support to AMISOM;

Somali federal security institutions

“14. Takes note of the Secretary-General’s recommendation of the need to provide targeted support to front line units of the Somali National Army (SNA), requests UNSOA to support the SNA through the provision of food and water, fuel, transport, tents and in theatre medical evacuation, decides that this exceptional support shall be provided only for joint SNA operations with AMISOM and which are part of AMISOM’s overall Strategic Concept, further decides that funding for this support will be provided from an appropriate United Nations trust fund, and encourages Member States to make uncaveated contributions to the trust fund;

“15. Underlines that the support outlined in paragraph 14 of this resolution must be in full compliance with the United Nations Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), further underlines its expectation that the Secretary-General will report on all UNSOA support to the SNA including on the implementation of the HRDDP, and also requests AMISOM to use its Civilian Casualties Tracking Analysis and Response cell as part of its reporting on joint AMISOM operations with the SNA;

“16. Underlines that all forces supported by UNSOA shall act in compliance with the Secretary-General’s Human Rights and Due Diligence Policy (HRDDP), and in that context further underlines its expectation that the Federal Government of Somalia will give its assurance to the Security Council, including in writing, that any Government forces being supported by UNSOA on joint operations with AMISOM will act in compliance with the HRDDP, and recalls the importance of training in this regard;

“17. Requests that to assist UNSOM to fulfil its mission, the Head of UNSOA shall keep the Special Representative of the Secretary-General informed on the implementation of the AMISOM support package, and further requests the Secretary-General to include this information in his regular reporting to the Security Council;

“18. Calls upon the Federal Government of Somalia to continue its efforts, with the support of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), AMISOM (in accordance with their respective mandates), and other international partners to strengthen the Somali National Security Forces including by mapping the structure of these forces, establishing clear command and control systems, implementing appropriate procedures, codes of conduct and training including to ensure the safe storage, registration, maintenance and distribution of military equipment and finalizing and implementing a national program for the treatment and handling of disengaged combatants and promoting respect for human rights, including through implementing the relevant Somali Government action plans on children and armed conflict;

“19. Further requests UNSOM, in accordance with its mandate, to continue to assist in the rebuilding of Somali security institutions, and reiterates in particular UNSOM’s role in providing strategic policy advice on security sector reform (SSR) and assisting the Federal Government of Somalia in coordinating international donor support on SSR;

“20. Requests UNSOM, working closely with the AU, to assist the Federal Government of Somalia in developing broad principles on the nature of policing in Somalia with a view to proposing further options to support the development of an effective police force in Somalia;

“21. Requests the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure the protection and well-being of all internally displaced persons, including from sexual violence and exploitation, paying particular attention to ensuring that the human rights of internally displaced persons in Somalia are respected in relation to relocations, and to ensure a fully consultative process, providing prior notice and ensuring safe, sanitary new sites that have basic services, as well as full, safe and unhindered access for humanitarian organizations;

Security of United Nations personnel

“22. Takes note of the Secretary-General’s intention to deploy an appropriate United Nations Static Guard unit to strengthen security at UNSOM compounds, looks forward to receiving further details of its deployment as outlined in the Secretary-General’s 14 October letter as soon as possible, and strongly emphasizes the importance of AMISOM’s protection of Mogadishu International Airport Compound within the troop ceiling authorized in this resolution;

Political process

“23. Urges increased collaboration between the AU, United Nations and Federal Government of Somalia, including on a comprehensive approach to peace, security and development which integrates political, security, peacebuilding and development activities, recognizing that none can succeed in isolation;

“24. Recalls its 13 September 2013 statement welcoming the agreement between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Interim Jubba Administration, emphasizes the importance of all parties ensuring that the timelines as stipulated in the agreement are met, and further emphasizes the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia ensuring the right political conditions are in place to ensure greater peace and stability in Somalia;

“25. Welcomes in this context the efforts undertaken by the Federal Government of Somalia to consolidate security and establish the rule of law in areas secured by AMISOM and the Security Forces of the Federal Government of Somalia, and encourages it to continue to lead an inclusive national dialogue, with the support of UNSOM, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the AU to clarify and settle relations between the Federal government of Somalia and existing and emerging local administrations and initiate processes of national reconciliation in order to accelerate efforts to establish sustainable, legitimate and representative local governance structures across the country, especially in areas recovered from Al-Shabaab;

“26. Encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to finalize and adopt a federal Constitution by December 2015, to prepare for and hold credible elections in 2016; and to ensure the equitable participation of women, youth, minority groups and other marginalized groups in national political processes;

“27. Further encourages the Federal Government of Somalia to implement its “Vision 2016″ agenda which sets out the importance of a Somali-owned, inclusive, and transparent political process and economic recovery, consistent with the Provisional Constitution and including an effective federal political system and a comprehensive reconciliation process that brings about national cohesion and integration;

Sanctions

“28. Expresses concern at continuing violations of the Security Council charcoal ban requests the Secretary-General and his Special Representative to raise awareness amongst relevant Member States on their requirements to abide by the charcoal ban, as set out in resolution 2036 (2012);

“29. Underlines the importance of the Federal Government of Somalia and Member States complying with all aspects of the arms embargo, including the reporting and notification requirements set out in resolution 2111 (2013);

Reporting

“30. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of all aspects of this resolution as part of his regular reporting to the Security Council on the situation in Somalia;

31. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”

 

SOURCE

UNITED NATIONS

 

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Norway welcomes UN statement on the humanitarian crisis in Syria

Posted by African Press International on October 4, 2013

Norway is pleased that the UN Security Council has finally reached agreement on a strong statement that condemns the serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights in Syria, and calls for unhindered humanitarian access,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide.

The Security Council issued a presidential statement today concerning the lack of respect for international humanitarian law and the grave human rights violations in Syria.

“I am glad that the Security Council has urged the Syrian authorities and the various armed groups to implement concrete actions in a number of areas to ensure that civilians are given protection and assistance,” Mr Eide said.

The Security Council statement condemns the obstacles and impediments put in the way of humanitarian aid deliveries by the Syrian authorities and various armed groups. It calls for unhindered humanitarian access across conflict lines and across national borders when necessary. The lack of access granted to UN and other humanitarian actors seeking to bring help to those in need is currently the greatest humanitarian problem in Syria. The statement also condemns the widespread sexual and gender-based abuse and violence, and focuses particularly on the protection of children.

“It is crucial to demilitarise schools and hospitals, and to combat sexual and gender-based violence, especially to protect the very weakest groups in Syria, including children,” Foreign Minister Eide said.

 

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Norway welcomes UN Security Council agreement on Syria

Posted by African Press International on October 3, 2013

“I am very pleased that the UN Security Council and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have finally managed to reach agreement on a robust resolution about the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” said Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. The resolution that was adopted by the UN Security Council today determines that the use of chemical weapons constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

For the past week there has been intense diplomatic activity in the UN to reach agreement on a joint resolution in the UN Security Council on Syria’s chemical weapons. The resolution requests the UN Secretary-General to report to the UN Security Council on a regular basis, and gives the OPCW a particular responsibility for ensuring that the Syrian chemical weapons are removed and destroyed.

In advance of the Security Council’s decision, the OPCW Executive, of which Norway is a member, agreed on a plan for Syria’s chemical weapons. Syria is required to destroy these weapons within nine months.

“I hope these decisions by the OPCW and the Security Council will pave the way for practical steps to eliminate Syria’s stocks of chemical weapons as quickly and efficiently as possible,” Foreign Minister Eide said. Norway is considering how we can contribute to this work.

For some time now Norway has been calling for a robust, binding resolution in the Security Council on the conflict in Syria.

“This is a diplomatic breakthrough which I hope will be the first step in a political process that in time can help create peace and bring to an end the terrible suffering in Syria. The civil war in Syria can only be solved by political means, not military action,” said Mr Eide.

 

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Good news: Syria has announced that it will join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Posted by African Press International on September 18, 2013

Welcome agreement on Syria’s chemical weapons

“I welcome the agreement reached by Russia and the US on the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons. This is a breakthrough for diplomacy in what has been a deadlocked conflict. Russia and the US must be commended for their efforts to achieve this agreement. I hope this will be the first step in a new diplomatic initiative to bring the civil war in Syria to an end,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide.

The US and Russia announced on Saturday that they had reached agreement on how the Syrian regime’s stockpile of chemical weapons is to be destroyed. Under the deal, Syria has to provide details of its chemical weapons, including where they are located, within a week. Failure on the part of the Assad regime to comply could lead to a UN Security Council resolution that opens up for the use of force.

Norway, together with the rest of the world, has condemned the use of chemical weapons in Syria. At the same time, we have emphasised that it is the Security Council’s responsibility to respond to serious violations of international law. This agreement makes it very clear that the use of chemical weapons will not be accepted by the international community. And the fact that the US and Russia have agreed that further steps must be endorsed by the Security Council is important in itself,” said Mr Eide.

Syria announced Friday (13th of september) that it will join the Chemical Weapons Convention.

“Syria already had extensive obligations under international law. All the same, it is a positive sign that Syria has now announced that it wants to join the Convention, and it is one of the last countries to do so. It is crucial that the Syrian authorities now cooperate fully with the international community to reach a rapid solution to the present situation. This also applies to other issues in addition to the obligations Syria is taking on under the Chemical Weapons Convention,” commented Mr Eide.

 

As a member of the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Norway will continue its efforts to persuade the small number of states that still have not joined the convention to do so as soon as possible.

 

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International Criminal Court: Situations and cases

Posted by African Press International on August 28, 2013

18 cases in 8 situations have been brought before the International Criminal Court.

Pursuant to the Rome Statute, the Prosecutor can initiate an investigation on the basis of a referral from any State Party or from the United Nations Security Council. In addition, the Prosecutor can initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court received from individuals or organisations (“communications”).

To date, four States Parties to the Rome Statute – Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Mali – have referred situations occurring on their territories to the Court. In addition, the Security Council has referred the situation in Darfur, Sudan, and the situation in Libya – both non-States Parties. After a thorough analysis of available information, the Prosecutor has opened and is conducting investigations in all of the above-mentioned situations.

On 31 March 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber II granted the Prosecution authorisation to open an investigation proprio motu in the situation of Kenya. In addition, on 3 October 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III granted the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation to open investigations proprio motu into the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.

Situation in Uganda 

The case The Prosecutor v. Joseph Kony, Vincent Otti, Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen is currently being heard before Pre-Trial Chamber II. In this case, five warrants of arrest have been issued against [the] five top members of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA).

Following the confirmation of the death of Mr Lukwiya, the proceedings against him have been terminated. The four remaining suspects are still at large.

Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 

In this situation, five cases have been brought before the relevant Chambers: The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga DyiloThe Prosecutor v. Bosco NtagandaThe Prosecutor v. Germain KatangaThe Prosecutor v. Mathieu Ngudjolo ChuiThe Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana; and The Prosecutor v. Sylvestre Mudacumura. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Germain Katanga and Bosco Ntaganda are currently in the custody of the ICC. Sylvestre Mudacumura remains at large.

Trial Chamber I convicted Mr Lubanga Dyilo on 14 March 2012. The trial in this case,The Prosecutor v. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, had started on 26 January 2009. On 10 July 2012, he was sentenced to a total period of 14 years of imprisonment. The time he spent in the ICC’s custody will be deducted from this total sentence.  On 7 August 2012, Trial Chamber I issued a decision on the principles and the process to be implemented for reparations to victims in the case. All three decisions are currently subject to appeal.

The trial in the case of The Prosecutor v. Germain Katanga and Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui started on 24 November 2009. Closing statements in the case were heard from 15 to 23 May 2012. On 21 November 2012, Trial Chamber II decided to sever the charges against Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and Germain Katanga. On 18 December 2012, Trial Chamber II acquitted Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui of the charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity and ordered his immediate release. On 21 December 2012, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui was released from custody. The Office of the Prosecutor has appealed the verdict.

The verdict regarding German Katanga will be delivered at a later stage.

The confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Callixte Mbarushimana took place from 16 to 21 September 2011. On 16 December 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided by Majority to decline to confirm the charges against Mr Mbarushimana.  Mr Mbarushimana was released from the ICC’s custody on 23 December 2011, upon the completion of the necessary arrangements, as ordered by Pre-Trial Chamber I.

On 22 March 2013, Bosco Ntaganda surrendered himself voluntarily and is now in the ICC’s custody. His initial appearance hearing took place before  Pre-Trial Chamber II on 26 March 2013. The confirmation of charges hearing in the case is scheduled to start on 10 February 2014.

Situation in Darfur, Sudan 

There are five cases in the situation in Darfur, Sudan: The Prosecutor v. Ahmad Muhammad Harun (”Ahmad Harun”) and Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman (“Ali Kushayb”)The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al BashirThe Prosecutor v. Bahar Idriss Abu GardaThe Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus; and The Prosecutor v. Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein.

Warrants of arrest have been issued by Pre-Trial Chamber I for Messrs Harun, Kushayb, Al Bashir and Hussein. The four suspects remain at large.

A summons to appear was issued for Mr Abu Garda, who appeared voluntarily before the Chamber on 18 May 2009. After the hearing of confirmation of charges, on February 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber I declined to confirm the charges. Mr Abu Garda is not in the custody of the ICC.

Two other summonses to appear were issued for Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo who appeared voluntarily on 17 June 2010; the confirmation of charges hearing took place on 8 December 2010. On 7 March 2011, Pre- Trial Chamber I unanimously decided to confirm the charges of war crimes brought by the ICC’s Prosecutor against Mr Banda and Mr Jerbo, and committed them to trial. The trial in the case The Prosecutor v. Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain and Saleh Mohammed Jerbo Jamus is scheduled to start on 5 May 2014.

Situation in the Central African Republic 

The situation was referred to the Court by the Government of the Central African Republic in December 2004. The Prosecutor opened an investigation in May 2007. In the only case in this situation, The Prosecutor v. Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed, on 15 June 2009, two charges of crimes against humanity and three charges of war crimes, and committed the accused to trial before Trial Chamber III. The trial started on 22 November 2010.

Situation in the Republic of Kenya 

On 31 March 2010, Pre-Trial Chamber II granted the Prosecutor’s request to open an investigation proprio motu in the situation in Kenya, State Party since 2005. Following summonses to appear issued on 8 March 2011, six Kenyan citizens voluntarily appeared before Pre-Trial Chamber II on 7 and 8 April 2011. The confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap Sang were held from 1 to 8 September 2011. The confirmation of charges hearing in the case The Prosecutor v. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta took place from 21 September to 5 October 2011. On 23 January 2012, the judges declined to confirm the charges against Henry Kiprono Kosgey and Mohammed Hussein Ali. Pre-Trial Chamber II confirmed the charges against William Samoei Ruto, Joshua Arap Sang, Francis Kirimi Muthaura and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta and committed them to trial. On 18 March 2013, the charges against Francis Kirimi Muthaura were withdrawn. The trial of William Samoei Ruto and Joshua Arap is scheduled to start on 10 September 2013 and the trial of Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is scheduled to start on 12 November 2013.

Situation in Libya 

On 26 February 2011, the United Nations Security Council decided unanimously to refer the situation in Libya since 15 February 2011 to the ICC Prosecutor. On 3 March 2011, the ICC Prosecutor announced his decision to open an investigation in the situation in Libya, which was assigned by the Presidency to Pre-Trial Chamber I. On 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued three warrants of arrest respectively for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces. On 22 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I formally terminated the case against Muammar Gaddafi due to his death. The two other suspects are not in the custody of the Court. On 31 May 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber I rejected Libya’s challenge to the admissibility of the case against Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and reminded Libya of its obligation to surrender the suspect to the Court.

Situation in Côte d’Ivoire 

Côte d’Ivoire, which is not party to the Rome Statute, had accepted the jurisdictionof the ICC on 18 April 2003; more recently, and on both 14 December 2010 and 3 May 2011, the Presidency of Côte d’Ivoire reconfirmed the country’s acceptance of this jurisdiction. On 3 October 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III granted the Prosecutor’s request for authorisation to open investigations proprio motu into the situation in Côte d’Ivoire with respect to alleged crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court, committed since 28 November 2010, as well as with regard to crimes that may be committed in the future in the context of this situation. On 22 February 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber III decided to expand its authorisation for the investigation in Côte d’Ivoire to include crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court allegedly committed between 19 September 2002 and 28 November 2010.

On 23 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III issued a warrant of arrest under seal in the case The Prosecutor v. Laurent Gbagbo for four counts of crimes against humanity. The arrest warrant against Mr Gbagbo was unsealed on 30 November 2011, when the suspect was transferred to the ICC detention centre at The Hague, by the Ivorian authorities. On 5 December 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber III held an initial appearance hearing. The confirmation of charges hearing took place between 19 and 28 February 2013. On 3 June 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber I adjourned the hearing on the confirmation of charges and requested the Prosecutor to consider providing further evidence or conducting further investigation with respect to the charges presented against Laurent Gbagbo.

On 22 November 2012, Pre-Trial Chamber I decided to unseal a warrant of arrest issued initially on 29 February 2012 against Simone Gbagbo​ for four counts of crimes against humanity allegedly committed in the territory of Côte d’Ivoire between 16 December 2010 and 12 April 2011. Mrs. Gbagbo is not in the custody of the Court.

Situation in Mali

 

On 16 January 2013, the Office of the Prosecutor opened an investigation into alleged crimes committed on the territory of Mali since January 2012.

The situation in Mali was referred to the Court by the Government of Mali on 13 July 2012. After conducting a preliminary examination of the situation, including an assessment of admissibility of potential cases, the OTP determined that there was a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.

The situation in Mali is assigned to Pre-Trial Chamber II.

The OTP is currently conducting preliminary examinations in a number of situations including AfghanistanGeorgiaGuineaColombiaHondurasKorea and Nigeria.

Submitting Information

To submit information about alleged crimes, please write to:

International Criminal Court
Office of the Prosecutor
Communications
Post Office Box 19519
2500 CM The Hague
The Netherlands.

Or email: otp.informationdesk@icc-cpi.int,

Or send information by facsimile to: +31 70 515 8555.

 

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ICC Appeals Chamber rejects the Libyan authorities’ request to suspend the surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi to the Court

Posted by African Press International on July 18, 2013

Today, 18 July 2013, the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) rejected the Libyan authorities’ request to suspend the surrender of Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and recalled that Libya is currently obliged to surrender Mr Gaddafi to the Court.

The Libyan authorities had filed, on 7 June 2013, a request for suspensive effect pending the outcome of its appeal against the Pre-Trial Chamber’s decision rejecting the Libyan admissibility challenge regarding the case against the suspect. The Appeals Chamber was not convinced by the reasons provided as to why the surrender of Mr Gaddafi to the Court would create, for the Libyan authorities, an irreversible situation or one that would be very difficult to correct.

The situation in Libya was referred to the ICC Prosecutor by the United Nations Security Council, through the unanimous adoption of Resolution 1970 on 26 February 2011. On 27 June 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I issued warrants of arrest for Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi and Abdullah Al-Senussi for crimes against humanity (murder and persecution) allegedly committed across Libya from 15 February 2011 until at least 28 February 2011, through the State apparatus and Security Forces. On 22 November 2011, Pre-Trial Chamber I formally terminated the case against Muammar Gaddafi due to his death.

End

source ICC

 

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Pre-Trial Chamber II requests Nigeria to immediately arrest Omar Al Bashir

Posted by African Press International on July 15, 2013

Situation: Darfur, Sudan

Case: The Prosecutor v. Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir

On 15 July 2013, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) requested the Federal Republic of Nigeria to immediately arrest Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir, on visit to Abuja (Nigeria) and to surrender him to the ICC. Omar Al Bashir faces charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, allegedly committed in Darfur (Sudan).

The Chamber recalled that Nigeria is a State party to the Rome Statute since= 2001, and has the obligation to execute the Court’s orders. The Chamber also noted that the situation in Darfur was referred to the ICC by resolution 1= 593 of the United Nations Security Council and that, according to article 87 (7) of the Rome Statute, “[w]here a State Party fails to comply with a request to cooperate by the Court contrary to the provisions of this Statute [… ] the Court may make a finding to that effect and refer the matter to the Assembly of States Parties or, where the Security Council referred the matter to the Court, to the Security Council”.

The Chamber instructed the ICC Registrar to immediately transmit the decision to the Nigerian authorities, and to prepare a report to the Chamber concer= ning Omar Al Bashir’s visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Background

Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir is alleged to have committed five counts of crimes against humanity (murder, extermination, forcible transfer, torture and rape), two counts of war crimes (intentionally directing attacks agains= t a civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking part in hostilities, and pillaging), and three counts of genocide committed against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups. Two warrants of arrest ha= ve been issued in this case. The suspect remains at large.

The ICC has informed the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of= States Parties to the Rome Statute of Mr Al Bashir’s visits to Djibouti, Ch= ad and Kenya, as well as of the non-cooperation of Malawi and Chad in arresting Mr Al Bashir. It is for the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of States Parties to take any measure they may deem appropriate to ensure the full cooperation with the ICC.

 

End

source ICC

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There is concern about new DRC Intervention Brigade

Posted by African Press International on June 1, 2013

Photo: MONUSCO
Tanzanian UN Intervention Brigade commander Brig-Gen James Makibolwa shakes hands with Tanzanian troops

GOMA,  – Nineteen international NGOs have sent a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to express concern over the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and future military operations by a new UN Intervention Brigade.

The letter, dated 23 May and made public this week, asks the secretary-general to call on the 11 African states that signed the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSCF) in Addis Ababa in February to implement the agreement, and to work with UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Mary Robinson.

The letter also recommends that the UN Security Council “should seriously consider suspension of the [UN Intervention] Brigade if it does not perform well or if the Congolese government does not make sufficient progress in implementing its commitments under the PSCF” agreement.

The brigade of 3,069 troops from Tanzania, South Africa and Malawi, which the UN peacekeeping department says should be operational by mid-July, has been given a more offensive mandate than any previous contingent with a UN peacekeeping mission. UN Security Council Resolution 2098 empowers it to carry out “targeted and robust offensives… with a view to neutralizing and disarming armed groups”, whilst “taking into account the necessity to protect civilians and reduce risks”.

The NGOs’ letter asks Ban for his leadership “in ensuring that the operations of the Brigade… are clearly linked to the realization of the PSCF” and that it “is part of a broad, comprehensive approach to achieve long-term peace and stability”.

The NGOs also call on Ban to ensure that “planning and conduct of the Brigade’s operations prioritize mitigation of harm to civilians” and to urge “the Congolese government… to put in place a fully independent national oversight mechanism to oversee the implementation of its commitments outlined in the PSCF”.

Dialogue and DDR

Under this heading, the letter says “this should include local level dialogue to address the local causes of conflict and community grievances, as well as comprehensive Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) options for combatants, irrespective of nationality.”

During his visit to the North Kivu provincial capital Goma on 23 May Ban made it clear that the UN does not see the Brigade as the sole solution to eastern DRC’s conflicts.

“The Intervention Brigade will address all this violence” he told local media, “and will try their best to protect human lives, human rights and human dignity – but you should also know that this is only one element of a much larger process. I think a peace deal must deliver a peace dividend, health, education, jobs and opportunity.”

NGOs fear being linked with military action

One of the concerns that prompted NGOs to write the letter was the possible impact on their own work of future operations by the Brigade, said Frances Charles, advocacy manager for NGO World Vision (which sent the letter on behalf of the signatories).

“The issue of how the Brigade is related to the rest of the integrated mission and how independent humanitarian actors such as NGOs relate to MONUSCO is, I think, a very big issue.

“We need a lasting peace and that peace will have to be imposed by striking hard against negative forces”

“We have to preserve independent humanitarian access. MONUSCO needs to make clear to communities how all the different parts of the (UN) mission work together.

“One thing we are very concerned about, as World Vision, is being linked to any military action. We are independent and we want to make sure that our access to communities is maintained.”

Peacekeeping versus offensive action

Several observers have questioned whether MONUSCO’s existing role of protecting civilians, particularly in displaced peoples’ camps, will be possible in areas where the Brigade attacks armed groups, as this could result in retaliation against all UN military and civilian personnel as well as against other aid workers and civilians.

The interim head of MONUSCO’s office in Goma, Alex Queval, told journalists that all necessary precautions would be taken to ensure that peacekeepers continue all their existing work, but he did not go into details.

For its part the M23 rebel group has suggested that the Brigade will need to work in different areas to the other peacekeepers.

“It’s a very complicated situation for us,” M23 spokesman Rene Abandi told IRIN this week. “Blue helmets come with an offensive mandate while others are deployed in the same areas with a peacekeepers’ mandate. They have really to separate areas so that we can make the distinction.”

Speaking to the UN News Centre on 29 May, the commander of the Intervention Brigade, Tanzanian Brig-Gen James Aloizi Mwakibolwa, acknowledged there are fears among some observers that the Brigade will exacerbate tensions.

“Perhaps they expect collateral damage to the extent that several people are not positive about the Brigade,” he said.

“It should be understood that our first concern should be the protection of civilians as we take on the armed groups,” he added. “A UN peacekeeper is a person who must protect UN staff and UN property but, above all, he must protect the civilians.”

The brigadier stressed that while he heads the brigade, he is not the head of the UN force in the country. “We are part of MONUSCO and our instructions come from the force commander of MONUSCO,” he said.

Goma groups support Brigade

Civil society groups in Goma are generally supportive of the Intervention Brigade and its offensive mandate.

“For the first time people feel they can look forward to a better future – because the new force has a mission to put an end to the armed groups,” said Goyon Milemba, team leader of the North Kivu civil society association’s working group on security issues, after the arrival of the Brigade’s headquarters staff in Goma last month.

“If people think you can protect civilians by stopping attacks on armed groups, they are wrong. We need a lasting peace and that peace will have to be imposed by striking hard against negative forces,” the president of the North Kivu civil society association, Thomas d’Aquin Muiti, told IRIN.

He acknowledged there would be collateral damage but said the situation for the people in displaced camps is intolerable.

“This does not mean MONUSCO should stop protecting displaced people,” he said. “Rather it should reinforce protection.”

He added that the government should recognize it will have an additional responsibility for protection as the Brigade starts offensive operations.

nl/cb source http://www.irinnews.org

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ICC underlines impartiality, reiterates commitment to cooperation with the African Union

Posted by African Press International on May 31, 2013

The Presidency of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues the following statement in light of reports on discussions concerning the ICC at the recent Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

“The International Criminal Court acknowledges and respects the African Union’s important role as the continent’s main regional organization. As an impartial international judicial institution, the ICC, including its independent Office of the Prosecutor, strives to maintain good working relationships with all relevant international and regional bodies, including the African Uni= on. The ICC’s relationship with Africa is all the more important considering that 34 African countries are States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC . In addition, the majority of the Court’s current investigations were initi= ated following referrals or requests from the African States in question.

The ICC operates strictly within the mandate and legal framework created by= the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the Court, and cannot take politic= al factors into account. Decisions are taken independently on the basis of the law and the available evidence and are not based on regional or ethnic considerations. Judges are the guarantors of the fairness of proceedings before the Court, from the authorisation of investigations to the confirmation or= non-confirmation of charges and decisions on guilt or innocence.

It must be recalled that cases before the ICC are not only about the suspects or the accused; they also concern the thousands of victims affected by the events under the ICC’s jurisdiction, many of whom are represented in the various proceedings with the help of legal assistance provided by the Court.

The ICC does not replace national jurisdictions; it only complements them when necessary. The Rome Statute defines the criteria for deciding whether cas= es should be tried before the ICC or in a national judicial system, and this determination is made through a judicial process by independent judges of the ICC. In all proceedings before the ICC, suspects as well as concerned States have the possibility to address these matters in accordance with the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.

While the Rome Statute gives the United Nations (UN) Security Council powers of referral and deferral in relation to the ICC, the exercise of these powers by the Security Council is governed by the UN Charter. The ICC is autonom= ous from the United Nations and does not participate in the Security Council’s decision-making. However once the Security Council refers a situation to the ICC, the investigation and proceedings that may arise from that situation are governed by the Rome Statute and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of the ICC and are not influenced by the Security Council or any other external body.

The Presidency stresses that the ICC is an independent institution that has a specific, judicial mandate created by States determined to end impunity a= nd to contribute to the prevention of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole. The ICC counts on the continued sup= port and cooperation of its States Parties in accordance with the Rome Statute and remains fully committed to a constructive and cooperative relationship with the African Union.”

End

Source ICC

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