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    South Sudan: five things to know
    21.02.17
    AFP

    South Sudan, where the government on Monday declared famine in some parts of the country, is mired in an economic crisis due to a devastating civil war.Independent since 2011, the world's newest country was engulfed by civil war in 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his rival and former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against him.The conflict has left tens of thousands dead and more than three million displaced.Five things to know about the African nation:- Economy in ruins -Oil production -- from which South Sudan gained 98 percent of its revenues on its independence...

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    Syrian prisons: accusations of torture and executions
    03.02.17
    AFP

    The Syrian regime, accused by Amnesty International of large-scale hangings, had already been criticised for torture and summary executions in its prisons and intelligence services headquarters. Amnesty said on Tuesday as many as 13,000 people were hanged in five years at the notorious Saydnaya military-run prison near Damascus, accusing the regime of a "policy of extermination". Here are some of the accusations that have been made against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. - 'Torture archipelago' - On July 3, 2012, US-based rights group Human Rights Watch said Syria...

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    INFOGRAPHY: Transitional justice explained
    07.11.16
    Justice Info

    Since “transitional justice” is not a term that is well understood by the general public and is at the heart of JusticeInfo.net’s concerns, we thought it was time to explain the overall concept in a simple way, using images. Just below the infography, you can find the, enriched text version. It supplements the information contained in the image, for those who wish to know more. Please feel free to share this infography on your social networks, blogs and elsewhere. It is produced in Creative Commons and thus free of copyright, on condition that the source is quoted and the link is...

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    Five questions on the ICC
    21.10.16
    AFP

    Once a champion of the International Criminal Court (ICC), South Africa dealt a blow to the world tribunal Friday by announcing its intention to withdraw, a move that came on the heels of a similar move by Burundi. Here are five key questions following Pretoria's announcement: Is this the end of the ICC? Not according to Harvard law professor Alex Whiting. "International criminal justice has always had its ups and downs and setbacks in the past. This is another setback, but the court is not going to disappear," he told AFP. The ICC's founding Rome Statute "is a treaty and parties are free to leave it as they want," said Aaron Matta, senior researcher at the Hague Institute for Global...

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    Africa in the dock at the ICC
    21.10.16
    AFP

    The International Criminal Court -- dealt a blow Friday with South Africa's decision to withdraw from the tribunal -- has launched nine investigations in eight African countries since its establishment in 2002. A 10th was opened in Georgia, the only country outside Africa. Here are details of the main indictments and cases before the world's first permanent war crimes court. - Democratic Republic of Congo - Congolese rebel warlord Bosco Ntaganda went on trial in September last year on 18 war crimes and crimes against humanity charges. Ntaganda -- nicknamed "The Terminator" -- has pleaded not guilty to the charges related to atrocities committed by his Patriotic Forces for the...

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    Burundi crisis: from disputed polls to 'genocide' fears
    12.10.16
    AFP

    Burundi's move to leave the International Criminal Court (ICC) has turned the spotlight on months of political turmoil and violence that raised fears of "genocide" in a nation with a history of ethnic conflict. Here are some keys to understanding 18 months of crisis in the central African nation: - How did Burundi's crisis begin? - In April 2015, President Pierre Nkurunziza, in office since 2005, announced his plan to run for a controversial third term, triggering protests which authorities banned before unleashing a bloody crackdown that left an estimated 80 people dead. In May, a...

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    The Nobel Peace Prize for 2016

      The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016 to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220 000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people. The award should also be seen as a tribute to the Colombian people who, despite great hardships and abuses, have not given up hope of a just peace, and to all the parties who have contributed to the peace process. This tribute is paid, not least, to the representatives of the countless victims of the civil war. President Santos initiated the negotiations that culminated...

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    Timeline of Colombia conflit
    07.10.16
    AFP

    Colombian voters on Sunday rejected a peace accord to end a 52-year conflict between the state and communist FARC rebels, in a shock blow to the country's government. Here are key dates in Latin America's longest armed conflict, which has killed 260,000 people according to Colombian authorities. 1964: FARC formed The government launches an offensive against communist groups in the center and west of the country. On May 27, rebel commander Manuel Marulanda Velez flees the assault with 47 other men and forms the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). 1984: First peace bid On March 28, conservative president Belisario Betancur launches peace talks with the FARC under a...

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    Gabon's Ali Bongo: dynastic scion in his father's shadow
    24.09.16
    AFP

    Ali Bongo, whose re-election victory was upheld by Gabon's constitutional court Saturday, has long sought to emerge from the shadow of his father, Omar Bongo, who ruled the country for 41 years until his death in 2009. Bongo, a stockily-built 57-year-old, is variously known by his initials ABO, Ali B and the less flattering "Monsieur Fils" -- "Mr. Son". The last nickname has always irked him the most: Bongo has long insisted he owes his position to his own merits rather than to nepotism. Gabon is sitting on oil, minerals and tropical timber, and its per-capita national income is four times greater than that of most sub-Saharan nations. But a third of the population of 1.8 million...

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    Africa's disputed elections
    24.09.16
    AFP

    Gabon's disputed election, which culminated Saturday with the constitutional court's confirmation of President Ali Bongo's victory, is the latest in a long list of violence-tinged ballots in Africa: - Ivory Coast - After a five-month-standoff, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was detained on April 11, 2011 by forces backing rival Alassane Ouattara, who was recognised internationally as the winner of Ivory Coast's October 2010 presidential election. Gbagbo had refused to stand down and some 3,000 people died in the post-election unrest. He is currently on trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity in relation to the clashes. - Kenya - Violence sparked by...

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    Africa's disputed elections
    02.09.16
    AFP

    Clashes in Gabon have left five people dead since incumbent Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a disputed presidential vote. Bongo's victory over challenger Jean Ping by a razor-thin margin of just under 6,000 votes in a weekend poll sparked fighting in Libreville and Port-Gentil, the country's economic capital. Ping claims the vote was rigged. Africa has known similar electoral unrest in the past, including in Gabon. Here are some of the other violent elections that have dogged the continent: - Ivory Coast - After a five-month-standoff, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo was detained on April 11, 2011 by forces backing rival Alassane Ouattara, who was recognised internationally as the winner...

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    Timeline of the Colombian conflict
    25.08.16
    afp

    After a half-century of conflict, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Colombian government announced Wednesday they have reached a historic peace deal. Here are key dates in Latin America's longest armed conflict, which has killed 260,000 people.   - 1964: FARC formed -   The government launches an offensive against communist groups in the center and west of the country. On May 27, rebel commander Manuel Marulanda Velez flees the government assault with 47 other men and forms the FARC.   - 1984: First peace bid -   On March 28, conservative president Belisario Betancur launches peace talks with the FARC under a bilateral truce. The initiative breaks down in 1987...

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    Six Key points of the colombian peace deal
    25.08.16
    AFP

    Here are key points of the peace deal announced Wednesday to end five decades of conflict between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government. The deal consists of six agreements:   - Ceasefire and disarmament -   The FARC and the government signed a ceasefire and disarmament agreement in June. The FARC must now begin moving its estimated 7,000 fighters from their jungle and mountain hideouts into disarmament camps set up by the United Nations, which is helping monitor the ceasefire.   - Justice for victims -   The two sides announced a deal in December 2015 to create special courts to judge crimes committed during the conflict. An amnesty will...

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    Ahmad Al-Faqi al-Mahdi, Islamic enforcer of Timbuktu
    19.08.16
    AFP

    Ahmad Al-Faqi Al-Mahdi, whose war crime trial in The Hague opens on Monday, is a quiet Koranic scholar turned ruthless enforcer for jihadists when they occupied the fabled Malian city of Timbuktu. Born around 40 years ago in Agoune, 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Timbuktu, the curly-haired former teacher was steeped in Islamic learning from a young age. He fast became a fervent proponent of the strictest interpretations of Islamic law, which had little popular support in Mali, but his chance came when jihadists descended on Timbuktu in April 2012. Mahdi was soon recruited by the Islamist group Ansar Dine as "the most competent and prominent person in Timbuktu when it came to being...

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    Five things to know about Mali's holy sites
    19.08.16
    AFP

    The trial of a Malian jihadist charged with war crimes for orchestrating the 2012 destruction of nine Timbuktu mausoleums and a section of a famous mosque resumes Monday at the International Criminal Court (ICC). How did the monuments come to be considered important and why were they destroyed? Who built the mausoleums? The mausoleums of Muslim saints located in Timbuktu's cemeteries and mosques date back to the ancient caravan city's golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries as an economic, intellectual and spiritual centre. Some date back as far as the 14th century. The construction of the original tombs of Muslim saints was undertaken by anonymous groups of family members or...

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    Key facts on the Armenian genocide
    02.06.16
    AFP

    German lawmakers vote Thursday on a resolution branding the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces a genocide, drawing angry warnings from Turkey that it could harm relations. Here are the key facts and background on the 1915-1917 massacres and deportations, the focus of the longstanding Turkish-Armenian diplomatic standoff: - Historical background - Following centuries of alternating Ottoman and Persian rule, Armenians by the mid-19th century lived across the Russian and Ottoman empires. Between 1.7 and 2.3 million Armenians were living in eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire by 1915, according to estimates of Western scholars. Ottoman authorities had been suspicious about the...

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    African leaders and justice
    30.05.16
    AFP

    Former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre has joined a short list of sub-Saharan African leaders sentenced for serious crimes committed while they held office. On Monday, the Extraordinary African Chambers court in Senegal sentenced Habre to life in prison for war crimes, crimes against humanity and a litany of other charges, including rape. Up to 40,000 people are believed to have been killed and many more kidnapped, raped or tortured under Habre's 1982-1990 rule as president of Chad. Who are the others and where are they from? - Convicted - LIBERIA - CHARLES TAYLOR Taylor was sentenced in 2012 to 50 years in prison for crimes against humanity and war crimes in Sierra Leone, where he...

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    From exile to trial: major dates since Habre fled Chad
    30.05.16
    AFP

    Key dates from former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre's overthrow to his life sentence for war crimes and crimes against humanity over his brutal 1982-1990 rule, in a landmark trial in Senegal. - Exile in Senegal - -- December 1990: Habre is overthrown by rebel troops led by Idriss Deby and flees to Senegal. His regime is accused of repressing, torturing or killing opponents. - Investigation - -- May 1992: A Chadian commission of inquiry says Habre's regime killed more than 40,000 people, many of them political opponents and from rival ethnic groups. - Charges - -- January 2000: Seven Chadians file suit against Habre in Dakar for crimes against humanity and acts of torture. A judicial...

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    Chad's Habre: desert warlord turned brutal tyrant
    30.05.16
    AFP

    A desert warfare specialist, Chad's Hissene Habre seized power in 1982 and quickly embraced the role of remorseless dictator, with brutal repression the hallmark of his eight-year reign of terror. Often dressed in combat fatigues that complemented his "desert fighter" nickname, Habre fled to Senegal after he was ousted in by Chad's current President Idriss Deby in 1990. Now 73, Habre's rule was marked by fierce crackdowns on dissent, including alleged torture and executions of opponents, earning him comparisons to Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. On Monday the verdict will be handed down in his trial in Dakar for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. Investigators found...

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    From exile to trial: major dates since Habre fled Chad
    30.05.16
    AFP

    Key dates from former Chadian dictator Hissene Habre's overthrow to an expected verdict in his crimes against humanity trial in Dakar on Monday. - Exile in Senegal - -- December 1990: Habre is overthrown by rebel troops led by Idriss Deby and flees to Senegal. His regime is accused of repressing, torturing or killing opponents. - Investigation - -- May 1992: A Chadian commission of inquiry says Habre's regime killed more than 40,000 people, many of them political opponents and from rival ethnic groups. - Charges - -- January 2000: Seven Chadians file suit against Habre in Dakar for crimes against humanity and acts of torture. A judicial inquiry is opened. -- February 2000: Habre is...

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