Promoting international justice in West Africa: building on successes

January 24th, 2023

Hussene HabreCo-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.

These are important efforts in this region – but if it wants to assure the delivery of justice for international crimes, much more needs to be done. Beyond effective prosecutions, countries must adequately protect witnesses and develop models to advance victims’ participation and reparations.

The ISS and TrustAfrica will host a seminar to discuss the domestic and regional international criminal justice efforts in West Africa. The seminar will offer some guidance on how African countries can promote accountability and justice in the interest of victims.

Chairperson: Cheryl Frank, Head, Transnational Threats and International Crime division, ISS

Introductory remarks: Jeanne Elone, Programme Specialist, International Criminal Justice Fund, TrustAfrica 

Speakers:

  • Allan Ngari, Researcher, Transnational Threats and International Crime division, ISS
  • Aboubacry Mbodji, General Secretary, Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits l’Homme
  • Sidiki Kaba, Minister of Justice, Senegal and President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC (TBC)
  • Reed Brody, Counsel and Spokesperson for Human Rights Watch

View article on Institute for Security Studies website.

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