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Violence in Guinea elicits ICC preliminary examination, ICRtoP participates in “The Mantle” inaugural roundtable on RtoP

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I. Guinean troops’ violence against citizens elicits international condemnation and ICC preliminary examination
II. The Mantle Hosts Roundtable Discussion on RtoP

III. Related Events

I. Guinean troops’ violence against citizens elicits international condemnation and ICC preliminary examination
On 28 September 2009, thousands of Guniean citizens gathered in a demonstration in the capital city of Conakry to protest the rule of Captain Moussa Tiegboro Camara. Capt. Camara took executive power in a bloodless coup in December 2008, and has recently gone back on his word not to run as a candidate in the upcoming 2010 Guinean presidential election inciting the threat of sanctions by the AU and increased unpopularity among Guinean citizens.
According to the UN and several human rights groups, Guinean troops opened fire on the crowds killing 157 and injuring hundreds more. Witnesses have confirmed that troops physically and sexually assaulted, stabbed, and shot at civilians. Many civilians were arrested by troops. The African Union, the United States, and the European Union have all condemned the violence, the EU accusing Guinean troops of crimes against humanity.
 On 15 October 2009, the International Criminal Court confirmed that the situation in Guinea is under preliminary examination in the office of ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. 
Read an account of the conflict from Human Rights Watch.   
1. Guinea junta condemned over stadium killings
Mouctar Bah
29 September 2009
(…) The United Nations, African Union, European Union and leading powers all condemned the killings which Guinea opposition said was a deliberate attempt to eliminate them. (…)
UN chief Ban Ki-moon slammed the "excessive use of force" and said he was "shocked by the loss of life, the high number of people injured and the destruction of property."
The African Union said in a statement that it "strongly condemns the indiscriminate firing on unarmed civilians, which left dozens dead and many others injured, while serious other violations of human rights were committed."
In Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana also deplored the violence and "high number of victims". "I urge for the immediate release of the arrested political leaders and call on the authorities to exercise maximum restraint and ensure a peaceful and democratic transition," he said.
Former colonial ruler France also condemned "the violent repression exercised by the army against the opposition and civil society during a peaceful demonstration."
A senior US official in Washington said: "We're deeply concerned about the general breakdown in security in Conakry." (…)
Read the full article
2. Guinea’s Camara should be tried for crimes against humanity: EU Official
EU Business News
14 October 2009
Guinea's junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara should be tried for crimes against humanity over last month's crackdown on opposition protestors, EU development commissioner Karel de Gucht said Wednesday.
De Gucht described the September 28 repression on an opposition rally in the capital Conakry as "brutality never seen before." (…)
"What has happened is a crime against humanity against the citizens of Guinea," de Gucht said. "The scale of the deaths make it a crime against humanity... Individuals like the leader of the junta should then be brought to justice."(…)
Read the full article
3. Prosecutor of International Criminal Court looking into recent events in Guinea
UN News Centre
15 October 2009
The International Criminal Court (ICC) confirmed today that its prosecutor is looking into last month’s events in Guinea, where at least 150 people were killed when security forces opened fire on an opposition rally.
“A preliminary examination of the situation has been immediately initiated in order to determine whether crimes falling under the Court’s jurisdiction have been perpetrated,” according to a news release issued by the Court, which is an independent, permanent body that investigates and prosecutes people accused of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Court said that the Prosecutor’s Office has taken note of “serious allegations” surrounding the events of 28 September in the capital, Conakry.
“From the information we have received, from the pictures I have seen, women were abused or otherwise brutalized on the pitch of Conraky’s stadium, apparently by men in uniform” said Deputy Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
“This is appalling, unacceptable. It must never happen again. Those responsible must be held accountable,” she added. (…)
Guinea has been a State Party to the Rome Statute, which set up the ICC, since July 2003. “As such the ICC has jurisdiction over war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide possibly committed in the territory of Guinea or by nationals of Guinea, including killings of civilians and sexual violence,” the Court stated. (…)
 Read full article
II. The Mantle Hosts Roundtable Discussion on RtoP
1. Another Power Vacuum: Can the Doctrine of Responsibility to Protect Truly Work?
Inaugural virtual roundtable
The Mantle
7 October 2009
The Mantle, a forum for contemporary thought on social and political discourse where today’s leaders in spreading awareness and creating policy share and debate contemporary issues including books, film, cultural elements, and other political questions, recently hosted its first virtual roundtable. Virtual roundtable discussions bring in experts who are currently working on political questions to present their informed opinions to discuss the issue with their contemporaries. 
 This inaugural roundtable focused on the Responsibility to Protect. The roundtable was moderated by Marie Mainil, from the Program on International Policy Attitudes in Washington D.C. Ms. Mainil put forth the question, Given the spirit of the R2P doctrine (that states have an obligation to protect populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and war crimes), how do we reconcile a state-centric bias of R2P and its potential for use in places where no state exists or functions? Is this a contradiction, in theory and/or in practice that must be remedied? If yes, how so?
The participants in this roundtable were Marion Arnaud, from the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, Jonas Claes, from the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention, Savita Pawnday, from the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, and Sarah Teitt, from the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. These leading specialists discussed the applicability of the three-pillar approach mentioned in Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report Implementing the Responsibility to Protect, the need for political will and capacity building, as well as other important concepts relating to the norm.
Marion Arnaud, from the ICRtoP, builds on her argument, that, “Even though the very definition of R2P relies on the state’s own responsibility to protect its populations from the four crimes …the emerging norm includes comprehensive measures that explicitly relate to weak and/or noncompliant states,” by highlighting the actions available to the international community through both Pillars Two and Three mentioned in UN SG Ban Ki-moon’s report that apply specifically to weak or failed states. Ms. Arnaud discusses the possibilities for international assistance and capacity building, and cites strengthening the state’s security sectors, creating a stand-by or rapid response civil and police capacity, and supporting regional, sub regional, and UN mechanisms. She also elaborates on the third, and most controversial, pillar, citing diplomatic pressure, fact finding missions, ICC referrals, economic pressures, and in extreme cases, military force. All these actions are mechanisms designed to focus the international community’s efforts towards implementing RtoP in weak and failing states. 
Ms. Arnaud concludes her statement with the following, “The R2P framework offers several measures available to the international community to assist the state to strengthen its capacity and ability to protect its population, or to intervene with peaceful or coercive measures to halt state or non-state actors from committing mass atrocities. Thus, there is no inherent contradiction within the norm in its emphasis on the primary responsibility of the state and the ability to assist or intervene in failed state situations.”     
The virtual roundtable can be seen at
III. Related Events
1. Coming to the brink: Bolivia, Kenya, and the Responsibility to Protect
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
19 October 2009
On Monday, 19 October 2009, from 12:30 PM until 2:00 PM, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect will host a roundtable discussion on RtoP and the 2008 crises and successful mediations by UNASUR in both Bolivia and Kenya. Though mass atrocities were avoided, stability is still fragile and human rights investigations are ongoing in both countries. This discussion will give insight into the role of RtoP in Kenya and Bolivia.   
George R. Gray Molina, postdoctoral research associate at the Woodrow Wilson School and the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University, and Elisabeth Lindenmayer, Director of the United Nations Studies Program at SIPA Columbia University will be speaking. 
Alvaro de Soto, a fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, and Thomas G. Weiss, Presidential Professor of Political Science and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, will participate in the discussion.
This event will be held at 365 Fifth Avenue, Room 8201, NY, NY, 10016.
to RSVP or for more information by 13 October 2009. 
2. UC Berkeley hosts symposium on RtoP in Canada
   “Canada, Humanitarian Intervention, and ‘the Responsibility to Protect’”
    Canadian Studies Program and the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley
    13 November 2009
The Canadian Studies Program at the University of California Berkeley has organized a symposium, Canada, Humanitarian Intervention, and “the Responsibility to Protect”. This event is being cosponsored by the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley, and will take place on Friday, 13 November 2009, in the Ida Sproul Room in the International House on UC Berkeley’s campus (2299 Piedmont Avenue). 
 The symposium aims to discuss Canada’s military and intellectual relationship with humanitarian intervention and genocide prevention throughout history. The conference will then move on to elaborate on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine discussing its implementation and strengths and weaknesses, UN reform, and the Canadian role in the doctrine.  
Read the working agenda for the symposium for more information on lectures and confirmed speakers. Advanced registration is required for attendance; see details

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