Friday, 30 October 2009

Canadian court gives longest possible sentence in historic Rwanda war crimes case

Filed under: International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:59 PDT

MONTREAL — A Canadian judge has imposed the toughest sentence possible on a man convicted of committing atrocities during the 1994 Rwandan genocide, described as the worst possible crime a human being can commit.

In a historic case, Desire Munyaneza was sentenced Thursday to life imprisonment without possibility of parole for 25 years.

Quebec Superior Court Justice Andre Denis handed down the sentence in a case international legal observers followed closely because of the implications it could have on similar prosecutions both here and abroad.

He is the first person convicted under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, enacted in 2000.

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Why Women Are The Real Architects Of Peace

Filed under: gender — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:58 PDT

While much criticism has been leveled at the Nobel committee’s selection of our president as the recipient of this award, I think the committee’s award choice was intended to serve a larger purpose than just the acknowledgment of a single human’s efforts. I think it was more about using Obama’s moment in the historical spotlight to harness his charisma as a leader to engage the world in a new conversation about how to achieve peace in our lifetime.

Here at home in the U.S., Obama has a golden opportunity to take a huge step in that direction by issuing an executive order establishing a Department of Peace with a cabinet level Secretary of Peace as its head.

Want to really make strides and advance another cause at the same time? Appoint a female as our peacemaker-in-chief! Doesn’t that sound like a job cut out for Oprah? OK, probably not, but it surely is a job cut out for a woman.

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UNV programme mourns the deaths of two volunteers in Afghanistan

Filed under: Peaceworkers in the news — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 06:45 PDT

Kabul, Afghanistan: The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of two UNV volunteers, Ms. Jossie G. Esto, 40, from the Philippines, and Ms. Yah-Lydia Wonyene, 47, from Liberia, who were killed in an armed attack on a United Nations guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan today.

The attack killed three other United Nations personnel and wounded several others, including a UNV volunteer.

The Executive Coordinator of UNV, Ms. Flavia Pansieri, expressed condolences on behalf of the organization’s 8,000 volunteers and staff to the families of the two UNV volunteers. She noted that the two women were in Afghanistan to support democratic elections. “Jossie and Lydia dedicated their knowledge and experience as volunteers to support the people of Afghanistan. As volunteers, they demonstrated a true commitment to the cause of peace and development and their sacrifice will not be forgotten.”

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