Which States Support Limiting the Use of the Security Council Veto in Situations of Atrocity Crimes?
The ICRtoP has released a new map detailing which states, as of 6 October, have endorsed the French/Mexico political declaration on the use of the veto and/or the "Code of Conduct regarding Security Council action on genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes." Click here to read the map in French.
(The map will be updated each week, please note that some of the most recent signatories may not yet be shown.)
Fighting occurred between the Burma Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA). The TNLA claimed that 10 Burma Army troops and two civilians were killed during the clashes.
On Thursday, President Thein Sein signed the “National Ceasefire Agreement” with eight armed rebel groups. The President said the deal opened up the "road to future peace"; however, seven armed groups have yet to sign the agreement, including the United Wa State Army and the Kachin Independence Organization. Earlier in the week, the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP), one of the armed groups that have rejected the ceasefire agreement, claimed that the government’s army had been threatening them to sign the agreement.
Last Friday, armed assailants killed the son-in-law of Pierre Clave Mbonimpa, a well-known Burundian human rights activist and campaigner against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial third term.
At least seven people were killed in shootings and a grenade attack in the capital of Burundi on Tuesday, marking increased violence following the election of President Nkurunziza. Activists and authorities have reported a series of targeted killings, with the most recent targeting state-run RTNB radio-television cameraman, Christophe Nkezabahizi, and his family.
Central African Republic:
French and U.N. troops stopped a rebel march towards the capital this week, clashing with predominantly Seleka fighters. OCHA confirmed this week that 77 people had been killed, with more than 400 injured, in an upsurge of violence in the capital since late September.
Armed groups and politicians in CAR, including the Union for Peace in Central African Republic (UPC) and the Party for Unity and Development (PCUD), boycotted the beginning of a political forum this week, stalling efforts to get an election process on track for 18 October.
France stated Thursday that it was working with partners at the United Nations Security Council to impose new sanctions on “individuals threatening peace and blocking political transition” in the Central African Republic.
New information emerged following an interview with Gallianne Palayret, a human rights investigator who led the investigation into sexual abuse committed by peacekeepers in CAR. In this interview, Ms. Palayret stated that French authorities knew about the allegations in May of 2014, which is earlier than what has previously been stated by the French government.
Democratic Republic of the Congo:
The head of the DRC’s elections commission has resigned, adding further uncertainty over the presidential poll to be held next year.
Alleged members of the Ugandan rebel group, Allied Democratic Forces, killed at least eight people in the villages of Mukoko and Tenambo in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Hundreds of Israelis, including right-wing extremists chanting “Death to Arabs’”, protested in Jerusalem last Thursday evening against the governmenent's alleged inaction and failure to effectively protect Israel’s capital.
The leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, declared the current unrest in Jerusalem and the West Bank an intifada after six Palestinians were fatally shot and 23 wounded at the border fence between Gaza and Israel last Friday. An Israeli military spokeswoman said around 200 Palestinians had gathered at the border fence in northern Gaza and thrown rocks and rolled burning tires toward Israeli troops on the other side.
On Saturday, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian teens in the Gaza Strip, bringing the death toll to 20 in the Gaza Strip this month.
A retaliatory Israeli airstrike early on Sunday against Hamas in Gaza killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and a toddler according to Palestinian officials. The mounting death toll in Gaza contradicts the Israeli Army’s stated policy of trying to avoid civilian casualties.
A group of human rights organizations, including the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and the Israeli Branch of Amnesty International, released a statement condemning Israeli politicians and senior police officers who have not only failed to act to calm the public climate of incitement, but have openly called for the extrajudicial killing of Palestinian suspects.
On Sunday, Guinea held its second democratic presidential election since it gained independence from France in 1958. However, the EU's chief observer, Frank Engel, stated that here were many shortcomings, including problems with voter registration. He also added that the lack of transparency had led him to lose confidence in the electoral commission, and that he would be watching to see the results were announced in a suitable way. The Guinean opposition reported widespread fraud in the vote and called for the election to be cancelled. The result of the vote is expected to be announced late this week.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq Ján Kubiš expressed his concerns about the recent political tension and violence in the Kurdistan region between political party leaders and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The Iraqi military claimed that they hit a convoy with ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi inside, but his fate remains unknown.
Last Friday, the UN Envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon announced the formation of a national unity government for Libya between the two rival governments. Fayez Sarraj, a member of the Tripoli-based Parliament, was named as the new Prime Minister. The composition for the rest of the new government was also decided, which include “three deputies for the Prime Minister — representing the country’s east, west and south — and two ministers to complete the Presidential Council.”
Directly after the UN’s announcement of a national unity government, Libya’s rival government expressed extreme doubts about the proposal, stating that it was premature. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged both governments "not to squander this opportunity.”
Libya's internationally-recognized parliament has since postponed their decision as to whether they will accept the UN proposal for a unity government until next week.
Three civilians were killed on Friday in a suspected jihadist attack in Dounapen. Meanwhile, another alleged jihadist attack on a gasoline convoy killed at least six and injured two. UNOCHA reported that the Timbuktu region in northern Mali is experiencing a hunger crisis amid insecurity and violence against aid organizations.
Three suspected Boko Haram suicide bombings killed seven people and injured many others in Nigeria’s northeast city, Maiduguri. Authorities have blamed Boko Haram for a triple suicide bombing of a suburb on Tuesday, where up to a dozen people were maimed or killed.
The government of Nigeria warned civilians that Boko Haram is using deadly cluster bombs; however, some argue that Boko Haram may have stolen the bombs from the Nigerian military.
The United Nations Security Council voted last Friday to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan until 15 December to aid in the implementation of the recent peace deal, though Russia and Venezuela abstained over concerns about sanctions and surveillance drones.
The pullout of several thousands of Ugandan troops, deployed in South Sudan since December 2013, is in line with the terms of the recent peace deal and a 9 October UN Security Council Resolution, and is hoped to boost peace prospects.
Despite the brokering of a recent peace deal, the NGO Forum, a coalition of over 300 South Sudanese aid agencies, has stated that war in South Sudan is worsening with thousands of women and girls raped, killed, or abducted in recent months. Both army and rebels have perpetrated ethnic massacres, recruited and killed children, and used mass rape as a weapon of war, torture, and forced displacement to “cleanse” areas of their opponents.
Sudanese President Bashir formally reopened talks with rebel and opposition groups on Saturday; however, only one significant opposition party showed up. The main opposition coalition, the National Coalition Forces, boycotted the reopening and demanded that Bashir repeal security and press laws and free political detainees prior to their entrance to negotiations. Additionally, no heads of state attended the launch of the National Dialogue in Khartoum this weekend, except the Chadian president and secretary-general of the Arab League.
The African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) welcomed the “Commanding Order” by the rebel Justice and Equality Movement, known as JEM, that prohibits the recruitment and use of child soldiers in its ranks as a “significant step” towards phasing out the phenomenon in the Darfur conflict.
The United Nations and Britain accused the Sudanese government of refusing to release food rations and other essential supplies for international peacekeepers in the conflict-ridden area.
223 Tamil prisoners, who have spent nearly 20 years in prison without trial, initiated a hunger strike to demand their immediate release. Many of them may have been imprisoned under terrorism laws as far back as 1997 for alleged links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
Syrian rebels with the Free Syrian Army repelled an assault by Bashar al-Assad’s government forces on Wednesday despite coming under repeated Russian air assault and called for more US assistance. Syrian troops, backed by Russian air force jets, attacked rebel-held towns north of Homs on Thursday, targeting a strategic, long-held rebel position against President Bashar Al-Assad.
Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Hossein Hamedani was killed near Aleppo on Thursday evening. Iranian news agency Tasnim said Hamedani was operating in “an advisory capacity” when “takfiri terrorists” killed him.
Russia increased the number of air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, according to its defense ministry who reported that on Saturday morning they had hit 55 ISIL targets in Syria in the last 24 hours. Separately, US defense officials stated progress had been made in talks with Russia on avoiding aerial accidents over Syria.
The US announced it will end its programme of training Syrian rebel forces and shift its focus to providing equipment and weapons to existing forces. The Pentagon stated that help will now be provided to "a select group of vetted leaders and their units". U.S. forces airdropped small arms ammunition and other supplies to rebel forces in Syria as a part of the new U.S. strategy announced last week to help rebels in Syria combat ISIL militants.
An Amnesty International fact-finding mission to northern Syria uncovered a wave of forced displacement and home demolitions, which could amount to war crimes, carried out by the Autonomous Administration led by the Syrian Kurdish political party, Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (PYD). The Autonomous Administration is a key ally of the US-led coalition fighting against ISIL in Syria.
On Tuesday, the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect released a statement on the escalation of incitement to violence in Syria on religious grounds, in which they expressed alarm and condemned recent calls by Saudi clerics for Sunni Muslims to support a “holy war” against Shia Muslims and Christians in Syria.
Former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed to honour the UN brokered peace agreement if the Saudi-led coalition stopped air strikes on the country. Saleh also announced he would quit his position as head of the country's largest party, the General People's Congress (GPC), to facilitate an end to the conflict that has killed more than 5,000 people. The Houthis and Saleh's GPC accepted the peace plan last week but a spokesman for President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi dismissed their acceptances as a "maneuver" and demanded that the Houthi rebels and Saleh supporters hand back territory it seized in the past year.
Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman, a spokesman for Yemen's armed forces allied with Houthi fighters, reported that Houthi forces had fired a ‘Scud’ missile, a powerful Cold War-era weapon, on Thursday in retaliation for attacks by a Saudi-led coalition on a military base near the city of Khamees Mushait in southwest Saudi Arabia.
What else is new?
The 4th annual National Symposium on Women & Genocide in the 21st century: The Case in Darfur will bring together hundreds of anti-genocide activists, students, experts on genocide and women's issues from around the globe, survivors, and concerned leaders this weekend. Click here for more information
On Monday 19 October, The Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights is hosting Ms. Joelle Fiss for a Lunchtime Lecture entitled, “Putting Blasphemy Laws in Context: Why are some countries more prone to sectarian violence than others?” RSVP to
The Asia Pacific Center for the Responsibility to Protect announced the launch of the Asia Pacific Partnership for Atrocity Prevention (APAP). Membership is open to non-governmental organizations that promote the prevention of atrocity crimes and governments that have appointed national R2P Focal Points.
The Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect compiled the profiles of newly-elected UN Security Council members and their engagement on mass atrocity prevention.