News and Ideas (42)
Co-hosted by the Institute for Security Studies and TrustAfrica.
Africa is still at the heart of international criminal justice and the need for proper and holistic delivery of justice on the continent is high. While the International Criminal Court remains a key institution to ensure accountability and provide justice for many African victims, including in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, African countries must also step up to the challenge. By strengthening national legal systems and regional mechanisms, countries can ensure justice and close the impunity gap.
In West Africa, valuable efforts are already being made to do just that. For example, the Extraordinary African Chambers in the Courts of Senegal will start the trial of former Chadian President Hissène Habré. At the same time, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Community Court of Justice, in its individual complaints framework for human rights violations, provides reparative justice to West Africans.
This convening will review ICJ advocacy strategies by showcasing our partners’ accomplishments, identifying the challenges they face, and fine-tuning our engagements to add value to their work.
TrustAfrica’s grantee, Victor Ochen, who directs the African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET) in Uganda, was invited by the International Criminal Court to attend the pre-trial hearing of its case against former Lord Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen in the Hague.
The New York Times (in an AP story on 26 Jan 2015) reported that:
Victor Ochen, director of a group called the African Youth Initiative Network, was in the court's public gallery to watch Ongwen's appearance and said his status as a former child soldier should not overshadow Ongwen's acts as a senior commander in a group notorious for sexual enslavement, mutilations and kidnapping tens of thousands of victims.