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The East African : June 23rd 2014
16 The EastAfrican NEWS JUNE 21-27,2014 Bensouda deplo≥es UN Secu≥ity Council ‘failu≥e’ on Da≥fu≥ cases By KEVIN J. KELLEY Special Correspondent THE INTERNATIONAL Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor blasted the United Nations Security Council last week for failing to back up ICC war-crimes charges against Sudanese officials for atrocities in the country’s Darfur region. Nearly a decade after the Secu- rity Council referred Darfur-related cases to the ICC, “the sad reality is that action from this council has not been forthcoming when it mattered most for Darfur’s victims,” prosecutor Fatou Bensouda declared. “It is indeed an understatement to say that we have failed the Darfur victims who continue to bear the brunt of these crimes.” Addressing the top UN body on June 17, Ms Bensouda warned its members that their performance “reflects badly not just on the international justice system of which the ICC is only a part, but it also greatly undermines the credibility of this council as an instrument of international peace and security.” She noted that Sudan Presi- dent Omar al-Bashir continues to 191 The number of Unamid peacekeepers killed since 2008 in Darfur defy the ICC five years after his indictment for war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Sudan Defence Minister Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein and former Interior Minister Ahmad Muhammad Harun have also been charged, as have Darfur rebel leaders Ali Kushayb and Abdallah Banda. President Bashir has been able to travel with impunity to several countries, including four in Africa — Chad, Djibouti, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo — that signed the treaty establishing the ICC. In addition, the African Union has called for ICC cases against sitting African leaders, including Mr Bashir, to be deferred until they leave office. Darfur suspects “remain at large and no meaningful steps have been taken to apprehend them and bring them to justice,” Ms Bensouda noted. RENEWED TENSION? Mushikiwabo speaks out on border clash Since the defeat of M23, ≥elative peace between the two count≥ies had been ≥esto≥ed until last week By EDMUND KAGIRE The EastAfrican A mid growing tensions, Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo has spoken out on last week’s two-day border skirmish which left five Congolese soldiers dead, saying that Rwandan soldiers were provoked into the exchange of fire. Both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo continue to trade accusations on the cause of the incident which renewed tensions on Rwanda’s western border. Addressing a press confer- ence in Kigali on Friday, June 20, Minister Mushikiwabo said that soldiers from the DR Congo crossed into the Rwandan side of the border and Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) asked them to leave but they refused. It was during the argu- ment, according to Mushikiwabo, that a Congolese soldier opened fire and the RDF reacted. In the process, one person died. “The same team with ad- ditional soldiers came back in the day and there were, as you can expect, new clashes and four people died but we have since managed to get the Joint Verification Mechanism team to come to the site of the clashes and investigate, asses and give a report,” “The JVM came after two days and we are waiting for a report. However calm has since returned. There is no reason to believe that soldiers from DR Congo will come back and cross the border,” Mushikiwabo said. TALKING TOUGH ON-GOING. Last week’s incident was the latest in the frosty relations between the two neighbours who were on the path to mending forces after the defeat of M23 rebels last year Ms Mushikiwabo’s remarks came just as reports that new evidence had emerged that Rwandan troops might have executed Congolese military prisoners in Rwanda and dumped their bodies at the border. It is now not clear who is telling the truth about the incident with Kinshasa and Kigali giving different versions. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, the fresh claims were made by a Congolese military doctor who examined the bodies of five Congolese soldiers. Mushikiwabo however says relations between Rwanda and DR Congo are stable, despite Rwanda not having an ambassador in Kinshasa. She said a new ambassador will be appointed to replace Amandin Rugira, who was transferred to Burundi earlier this year.
June 16th 2014
June 30th 2014