Tensions Mount between Egypt and Israel

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Tensions have mounted between Egypt and Israel over the deaths of five Egyptian security officers by an Israeli warplane. While Egypt has not announced that it is recalling its ambassador to Israel, the possibility remains despite a rare statement from the Israeli government expressing regret for the incident. Continue reading ‘Tensions Mount between Egypt and Israel.’

Wave of War Crime Arrests

This seems to be the year for war crime probes, arrests and trials. From South America to Africa in the last few weeks and months there have been a slew of high profile arrests.

gIn Guatemala former general Hector Mario Lopez Fuentes has been charged with ordering the killing of more than 10,000 people of Mayan descent in the early 1980s. As the head of the army Fuentes would have signed the warrants that made up the heart of the ‘scorched earth’ policy mandated by Efrain Rios Montt, then president of the country. No effort was made to bring these criminals to justice during the 1990s and 2000s, so survivors applied to Spanish courts to have the crimes prosecuted. This battle is still on-going, but the one against Fuentes has begun to snowball.

Goran Hadzic was captured on July 20, 2011 in a small village in northern Serbia and now stands before the United Nation’s Yugoslav war crimes tribunal. Hadzic was the last of the 161 military and political leaders of the war in the Balkans indicted by the tribunal to be seized. He has not pled in court in response to the 14 counts against him. His alleged crimes include destruction of the town of Vukovar and the seizure of 260 patients of the hospital there, who were taken to a farm close by to be tortured and killed. Hadzic was the last person that needed to be tried by the UN tribunal, but many more still need to be prosecuted by national courts.

The Ivory Coast is setting up a commission of inquiry to deal with war crimes that occurred in the wake of the most recent election. Violence erupted in the African nation when the former president, Laurent Gbagbo, refused to accept his loss to Alassane Ouattara. This commission will have six months to discover the truth of the violence and who perpetrated it, and take action where necessary to bring criminals to justice. The International Criminal Court has also started preliminary work on the same subject.

Three suspected war criminals have been arrested in Canada, where the federal government has launched a website listing information and pictures of 30 suspects who they say are in Canada illegally. Manuel de la Torre Herrera has followed Arshad Muhammad and Cristobal Gonzalez-Ramirez into custody on July 25, 2011. The website has come under fire itself, as it states that “It has been determined that [these suspects] violated human or international rights under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act or under international law.” This statement presumes each suspect is guilty while none have ever stood before a court on these charges.

Norway Attacked in Worst Violence Since WWII

Norway has been torn apart as two tragic events occur within hours of each other. A bomb exploded in government buildings in Oslo killing at least seven people, while a shooter at a youth camp opened fire, killing at least 85. 30 more were injured in each attack. The official death toll has risen to 92 in both attacks combined, but a handful of people are still missing and it is suspected that they may have drowned trying to swin away from the camp where the shooting occurred. Continue reading ‘Norway Attacked in Worst Violence Since WWII.’

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