Saturday, December 11, 2010

'Nuff said

(Taking context-optional note of thought-provoking quotes)

'The mapping exercise and the resulting Report create a dilemma. They raise strong suspicions that crimes under international law, at least war crimes and crimes against humanity, have been committed in the DRC on a large scale. These cannot simply be disregarded or ignored, especially as they concern the very crimes envisaged under the principle of ‘responsibility to protect.’ Yet the Report merely lists allegations, and more investigations would be needed before prosecuting any of these incidents.'
Cecile Aptel (below left), currently a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, who next year will become a Professor of Law at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. Aptel's observations may be found in an ASIL Insight that analyzes a United Nations publication comprising 566 pages and carrying a mouthful of a name – the "Report of the Mapping Exercise documenting the most serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed within the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo between March 1993 and June 2003." Released by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights over objections from a state whose troops are implicated, the report chronicles a decade of crimes, at times possibly amounting to genocide. The evidence pose challenges, Aptel reports:
► How best to bring perpetrators to account?
► And which perpetrators?
Lead investigator Luc Coté, formerly a prosecutor in Canada and at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, suggested "a hybrid judicial mechanism and a new truth and reconciliation." Those options themselves pose dilemmas, as Aptel aptly explains.

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