Arusha, February 28, 2014 (FH) – France’s highest court this week ruled against the extradition of three Rwandans, while the Chadian state became a civil party in the case against former president Hissène Habré.

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Chad declares itself civil party in Habré case:  The Chadian state on Tuesday became a civil party in the case against the country’s ex-president Hissène Habré. This was immediately denounced by the victims, who say it is their role to be civil party, and not the state. They are asking the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC) to overrule.  This special court has been set up within the Senegalese justice system to try Habré, who has been in exile in Dakar since December 1990. The former president was arrested on June 30, 2013, and charged two days later with crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture. 

Calls for Al Bashir arrest fall on deaf ears: Several human rights organizations across the world called in vain Tuesday for the Democratic Republic of Congo to arrest Sudan’s President Omar Al Bashir as he visited Kinshasa. Bashir is the subject of two International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in the western Sudanese region of Darfur. The Sudanese president was taking part in a summit of African heads of state in the Congolese capital.

Court of Cassation opposes extradition of three Rwandans: France’s highest court on Wednesday ruled against the extradition of three Rwandans wanted by Kigali for suspected involvement in the 1994 genocide. The Court, which has always rejected the extradition of Rwandese genocide suspects to Kigali, thus confirmed its previous jurisprudence. In a first decision handed down Wednesday, it overruled a ruling of the Paris Appeals Court, which had decided in November in favour of extraditing Claude Muhayimana and Innocent Musabyimana. In a second decision, it also confirmed a September decision by the Douai Appeals Court against the extradition of Laurent Serubuga.

Lessons from the Rwandan genocide: The United Nations has learned important lessons from the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday in New York. He was speaking as he launched commemorations of the twentieth anniversary of the genocide. The international community’s failure in Rwanda led to the endorsement by the 2005 World Summit of the responsibility to protect, as well as other measures by the Security Council, said the UN Secretary General. But, he added, “we must remain ever vigilant”.

Next weekThe trial of Pascal Simbikangwa, the first Rwandan to be tried in France for involvement in the 1994 genocide, continues before a Paris court. The ICC is to hand down its verdict Friday in the trial of Congolese militiaman Germain Katanga for crimes committed in Ituri, northeast Democratic Republic of Congo.