Landmark Srebrenica war crimes case halts over technicality in Serbia justice system

A Serbian appeals court on Thursday halted a landmark trial against eight former Bosnian Serb police officers charged with taking part in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, reports abc news. The court, on Thursday, said it had accepted the defence’s contention that the charges against the eight officers were invalid, because they were filed at a time when Serbia did not have a chief war crimes prosecutor. The appeals court added that in the Serbian justice system only a war crimes prosecutor can file war crimes indictments and conduct investigations. This technicality will mean that the whole...

Sudan freezes negotiations with US following delay in lifting sanctions

Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir announced that all negotiations with the United States will be frozen in response to a US decree that postponed a permanent decision on lifting sanctions by 3 months. Commenting on the US decision to delay the lifting of sanctions, a senior state department official said, “The administration recognises Sudan has made significant progress in these areas in the last six months, but the administration decided it needed more time to review Sudan’s actions.” US Sanctions were first imposed on Sudan in 1997 after Sudan was named as a state sponsor of terror. A...

US calls on Myanmar to allow UN inquiry into war crimes against Rohingya

The United States called on Myanmar's government to allow a UN Human Rights Council established fact-finding mission into the country to investigate war crimes against the Rohingya population. Last month, a Myanmar official said the country would not permit entry to UN investigators, Reuters reported. The mission was approved by the Council in March, however it has been rejected by the Myanmar's leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The US' ambassador to the UN in New York, Nikki Haley, said in a statement, "It is important that the Burmese [Myanmar] government allow this fact-finding mission to do its...

Allegations of war crimes on both sides as Iraqi PM declares Mosul victory

On Monday the prime minister of Iraq declared victory of Islamic State in Mosul, after over three years of IS rule in the city. The victory which has been welcomed across the world has however, received criticism from human rights organisations who have accused Iraqi and US led forces of violating international humanitarian law. Detailing the extent and horror of the crimes committed by Islamic State, a report published by Amnesty International on Tuesday also criticised the use of force in densely populated areas by Iraqi and US forces. "Civilians in west Mosul have been ruthlessly exploited...

China and Britain must shelve differences and seek common ground says President Xi Jinping

China and Britain must seek common ground while shelving differences Chinse President Xi Jinping told British Prime Minister Theresa on the side-lines of the G20 summit in Hamburg. Following a meeting between Mr Xi Jinping and the British Prime Minister on Friday, China’s foreign ministry said discussions had been held on “consolidating strategic mutual trust,” adding that “both sides should uphold the principle of mutual respect and equality and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns. Both sides must seek common ground while shelving differences.” Last month China said that a...

Israel cuts UN funding after Hebron shrine declared Palestinian heritage site

Israel cut its funding to the UN this week after UNESCO designated that a shrine in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank was a "Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger". Slamming the move as "another delusional UNESCO decision", the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, instructed that $1 million be cut from UN funding and instead by used to build a museum examining Jewish heritage in Hebron. This is the latest in a series of Israeli cuts to UN funding made as a protest move against decisions which it says favours Palestine. The Palestinian foreign minister, Reyag Al-Maliki was quoted by...

UN backed talks on Cyprus reunification collapse

Talks aimed at re-unifying Cyprus collapsed On Friday as both sides reported deadlock. One of the key issues that remain is what happens to the over 35,000 Turkish troops that remain in Turkish Cypriot region. The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have been separated by a UN buffer zone since the conflict in 1974. "Despite the very strong commitment and engagement of all the delegations and the different parties... the Conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached," the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres told reporters. The UN Secretary General's Special Adivisor...

No turning back on independence referendum says Kurdish President

Iraq’s Kurdish leader said on Thursday that there was no turning back on a bid to achieve an independent Kurdish state, reports Reuters. The President of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Masoud Barzani told Reuters that the timetable for independence after a vote in September “was flexible but not open-ended.” The referendum is thought to be a deciding factor in what happens with the status of the city of Kirkuk, which Kurdish Peshmerga defended from Islamic State in 2015. Mr Barzani stressed that the people of Kirkurk would decide their fate, adding, “Whatever the people of Kirkurk...

7 soldiers convicted in Congo over massacre

A court in the Democratic Republic of Congo on Thursday convicted seven soldiers for shooting people at close range who they accused of being militia members. The massacre was filmed in a video that was broadcast widely earlier this year, clearly depicting the soldiers shooting people, including young women at very close range. The sentencing comes as last month the UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an international inquiry. The UN and human rights groups have long criticised the Congolese government for not holding perpetrators of such crimes to account. Two army majors were...

War crimes-accused former Serbian soldier dies before trial ends

A former Serbian soldier accused of war crimes due to his alleged involvement in a massacre of over 100 Kosovo Albanians, has died before the conclusion of his trial in Belgrade. Milojko Nikolic, one of the men on trial for allegedly murdering over 100 ethnic Albanian civilians in the Kosovo villages of Cuska, Ljubenic, Pavlan and Zahac during the spring of 1999, died on Wednesday in Belgrade. Nikolic was one of 11 former members of the 177th Yugoslav Army Intervention Squad charged with war crimes in the case, and the process against him will now be suspended. Read more on Balkan Insight .

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