Burundi rejects ICC probe

The government of Burundi on Friday rejects the International Criminal Court's proposed investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by state forces from 2015 - 2017 against opposition supporters. “The government of Burundi heard a rumor through international media reports that ICC has given authorization to its prosecutor to start an investigation on Burundi,” the country's justice minister, Aimee Laurentine Kanyana was quoted by Reuters as saying. “The government rejects that decision and reiterates its firm determination that it will not cooperate with ICC or any...

ICC approves investigation into crimes against humanity in Burundi

The International Criminal Court on Thursday approved plans for prosecutors to launch an investigation into allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by government forces in Burundi between 2015 - 2017. The judges said there was "a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation in relation to crimes against humanity," in a statement. The decision comes just weeks after Burundi opted to remove itself from the international court. Fighting broke out in 2015 after the president, Pierre Nkurunziza ran for office for the third time. Hundreds were killed as government...

Myanmar says UN Security Council statement could harm negotiations

Myanmar on Wednesday criticised a statement released by the UN Security Council expressing “grave concern over reports of human rights violations and abuses in Rakhine State”, stating that it could harm negotiations with Bangladesh. The Council had also urged Myanmar to “ensure no further excessive use of military force." Myanmar's leader, Aung Sang Suu Kyi criticised the Council for not making reference to the negotiations with Bangldesh. "Furthermore, the [Security Council] Presidential Statement could potentially and seriously harm the bilateral negotiations between the two countries which...

Roads brought to standstill as Catalans protest over detention of leaders

Roads in Catalonia were brought to a standstill on Wednesday as pro-independence demonstrators striked in protest against the Spanish government's arrest and detention of Catalan leaders. The strike was called by the CSC union and was supported by the Asamblea Nacional Catalana (ANC) and Omnium Cultural, Reuters reported. Sitting on the road, protesters called for "freedom for political prisoners". Senior figures within the Catalan government were arrested and detained accused of sedition and rebellion over independence referendum held last month.

UN report states ISIS should face 'international crimes' charges

A United Nations report said the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has committed “international crimes” during the battle for Mosul in Iraq, and called for the prosecution of perpetrators. The report, compiled by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), was released following a nine-month military campaign by the Iraqi government and coalition forces to capture Mosul. “Thousands of civilians were subjected to shocking human rights abuses and clear violations of international humanitarian law,” said the UN High...

HRW calls on UN Security Council to refer Burma to ICC

The United Nations Security Council should refer Burma to the International Criminal Court because of its failure to investigate mass atrocities against ethnic Rohingya, said Human Rights Watch on Friday. The rights organisations further called on Member state of the UN to pursue processes for gathering criminal evidence to advance prosecutions in the ICC and other courts. Human Rights Watch field research found that Burmese military abuses amount crimes against humanity. The statement outlined concern over Burma’s capacity to prosecute for such crimes stating, “The Burmese government’s...

Suu Kyi visits Rohingya as threat of US sanctions grow

Myanmar's leader Aung San Suu Kyi visited the Rakhine state this week, where the military is accused of carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, as US lawmakers proposed sanctions against the country. Ms Suu Kyi made the brief trip for the first time since violence erupted in the state and was accompanied by the Burmese military. She reported met with Rohingya villagers of Pan Taw Pyin village, telling them “I hope everything will go fine as local villagers handle the rebuilding process”. “We all have to try our best to live peacefully,” she added. Her visit comes as...

Spain issues arrest warrants for Catalan leaders

A Spanish judge has issued an international arrest warrant for Catalonia’s president Carles Puigdemont and four other Catalan leaders as they were in Belgium on Friday. The move, comes after the judge took nine other members of the regional government into custody after the Spanish central government removed them from their posts. Mr Puigdemont responded to the warrants being issued by declaring he would turn himself in to Belgian authorities, "but not to Spanish justice". Belgium prosecutors have 24 hours to decide whether they paperwork for the warrants is in order and have a further...

KRG president Barzani to step down

The leader of Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government on Monday is to end his term of office on November 1 after his request not to renew his term was approved by parliament. The decision comes just weeks after a referendum on independence, which was led by President Masoud Barzani. Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of secession however, it took place amid international disapproval, most notably from the United States. Within two days of the referendum Iraqi forces took over territory that had been held by the Kurds, including Kirkuk. In a letter to the parliament on Sunday, Mr Barzani said, "...

Catalonia declares independence, Madrid votes to strip autonomy

The Catalan government voted on Friday to declare independence from Spain, following a referendum earlier this month. The decision came as over 2000 pro-indpendence supporters gathered outside the regional parliament in Barcelona. “Catalonia is and will be a land of freedom. In times of difficulty and in times of celebration. Now more than ever”, the Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont tweeted. Madrid responded within an hour however by voting to strip Catalonia of its autonomy and impose direct rule, the first time such a decision has been taken since the 1970s. France, Britain, Germany and the...

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