Sunday, 12 February 2012

UN Human Rights Experts Critical Of Trial Of Prominent Spanish Judge Garzon

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 16:26 PDT

A series of independent United Nations human rights experts today voiced concern about the impact of the trial of a prominent Spanish judge on his independence, particularly his efforts to investigate more than 100,000 allegations of enforced disappearances during the country’s civil war and then under the regime of Francisco Franco.

Judge Baltasar Garzón is currently on trial in Spain, charged with “knowingly exceeding his jurisdiction” by admitting and investigating complaints related to crimes against humanity regarding allegations of enforced disappearances between 1936 and 1951.

These cases are allegedly inadmissible because of a Spanish amnesty law introduced after General Franco’s death and the expiration of the statute of limitations, and last week the country’s Supreme Court rejected a prosecution request to dismiss the case against Judge Garzón.


South Sudan: Why Things Fall Apart

Filed under: Africa files,International Law: War,Media and Conflict — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:28 PDT

Heightened tensions over oil threatens the fragile peace between Sudan and South Sudan, as my colleague Jeffrey Gettleman reports. For me, the story and the predicament recall a meeting long ago, before oil was even discovered in Sudan.

As a freshly minted foreign correspondent, at an African summit meeting in Kinshasa, I looked up from my typewriter at a pair of muddy bare knees and leaned back until my neck hurt to see who was up there. It was a Dinka tribesman from southern Sudan who had walked for weeks to deliver a plea: The outside world had to end a brutal war.

No problem. My news agency, The Associated Press, reached everywhere. I only had to sound the alarm.

No one listened then, in 1967, and few took much notice for nearly four decades. So today, six months after South Sudan finally won its freedom, yet another round of war adds thousands more to a death toll of more than two million.

South Sudan shows with grim clarity why complex crises left to fester for decades and generations are seldom fixed with a sudden burst of concern.


Mediator urges Sudan, South to ease tough stance in oil row

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:20 PDT

ADDIS ABABA — The lead mediator in a furious oil row between Sudan and South Sudan urged the two states Saturday to ease their unilateral actions ahead of a new round of talks to resolve the crisis.

South Sudan has shut down oil production after accusing Sudan, on whose pipeline and refinery it depends to export oil, of stealing its crude.

Khartoum admits to confiscating 1.7 million barrels of South Sudanese crude since vowing in November to take 23 percent of southern oil exports as payment in kind for the use of its infrastrucure.

“We are asking the South to resume the production and we are asking the two parties to abandon the use of unilateral actions,” mediator Pierre Buyoya told AFP.

Sudan and South Sudan leaders have warned of fresh conflict if no solution is found to the worsening dispute.


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