World Bulletin/News Desk
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Senegal on Friday to put on trial or extradite to Belgium Chadian ex-president Hissene Habre, and Senegal said it would put him on trial later this year.
The court, in a ruling that could affect other deposed leaders living in exile, said Senegal had failed to make serious efforts to prosecute Habre, who ruled Chad for eight years from 1982. His government was accused of torturing or killing tens of thousands of opponents.
"Senegal is required to cease this continuing wrongful act in accordance with general international law," said presiding judge Peter Tomka, ruling on a case brought by Belgium, which demanded Habre's extradition under the principle of universal jurisdiction.
In a binding decision, the ICJ ordered Senegal to act under the Convention against Torture, which it has signed. The convention obliges signatories to extradite or refer for prosecution anyone on their territory accused of responsibility for torture.
"Senegal must therefore take, without further delay, the necessary measures to submit the case to its competent authorities for the purpose of prosecution, if it does not extradite Mr. Habre," said Tomka, reading the ruling in The Hague. The ICJ is the United Nations' highest judicial body.
Cheikh Tidiana Thiam, head of judicial affairs at Senegal's foreign ministry, said the country would try Habre this year.
Human rights groups and victims hold Habre, 70, responsible for torture or killing up to 40,000 people during the eight years he led the poor, oil-rich central African country. Ousted in a coup in 1990, he lives in exile in Senegal.
The ICJ ruling has implications for other former leaders because it gives all 150 states that have signed the convention the right, even if they have no direct involvement in the case, to demand prosecution of an alleged torturer living on another signatory state's territory.
"The ICJ declared that the torture convention means exactly what it says - if someone commits torture, he has to be brought to justice," said Reed Brody, a lawyer at Human Rights Watch.
He said the ruling could have implications for deposed leaders living in exile, such as Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the former Tunisian president now living in exile in Saudi Arabia.
Italian police believe the suspects were involved in the October 2009 bomb attack in the Pakistani city of Peshawar that killed over 100 people.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that a new system for asylum seekers needs to be in place for an equal distribution of refugees across European countries.
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has called on the media to act against xenophobia with "freedom of expression'" being used as a guise that recycles intolerance towards refugees.
Six people were killed and five others injured from the "Zaghawa Um-Kmelty" tribe in South Darfur on Thursday at the hands of peacekeepers from the joint African Union-United Nations mission in Darfur (UNAMID).
Racist incidents have more than tripled, say refugee organisations, with attacks on buildings that house foreigners also being attacked.
Eight Palestinians were hurt as the Israeli army dispersed tear gas with one Palestinian shot in the foot, while others were hit by rubber bullets
The European Union, drawing on its army of diplomats, aims to ensure that big emitters are "sensitised to the political importance of submitting an ambitious contribution" as early as possible, it says.
Kremlin says that US Congress had passed a Ukraine Freedom Support Act in 2014 which would allow for the provision of advanced weaponry.
Prosecutors blamed the Tunisian captain of a fishing boat for causing the deaths of hundreds of migrants locked below decks when his vessel capsized in the Mediterranean
Five people were killed and homes burnt down by Ugandan rebels in Congo, with 3 UN soldiers who were part of landmine investigative team were kidnapped.
The Consumers Association of Malawi have called for a boycott of South African products in response to attacks against African migrants in the country.
Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has said that 14 out of the 115 citizens have been deported back to Spain, nine of whom are languishing in prison.
A UN vehicle was struck by a landmine injuring 7 UN peacekeepers.
NGOs such as Amnesty International say increase in funding will not solve problem of refugee deaths.
Win Aung was blacklisted for his financial support of the military government that was replaced by a semi-civilian administration in 2011.
Circassians call out to Putin and criticize his hypocrisy as he labels the Armenian incident as genocide when failing to recognize the Russian tsarists massacre of Circassia