Refugee Rights News






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2 December

Rhetoric vs. Reality–the Situation in Darfur

Recent claims by the Sudanese government that the situation in Darfur is improving are not borne out by reality, fifteen organizations said in a report released today. In an effort to bolster their argument that the U.N. Security Council should suspend the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) consideration of an arrest warrant against President Omar al-Bashir, Sudan has contended that there have been serious improvements in Darfur. The ICC prosecutor is scheduled to brief the Security Council on December 3, 2008, about the progress of his investigation.

In stark contrast to Khartoum’s claims, the 22-page report, “Rhetoric vs. Reality–the Situation in Darfur,” prepared by a coalition of nongovernmental organizations—including the Save Darfur Coalition, Human Rights First and Human Rights Watch—documents the lack of progress in Darfur in recent months regarding security, the humanitarian situation, the deployment of peacekeepers and domestic justice.

Continue to full press release here.
Read the report in English here.

Read the press release in French here.
Read the report in French here.

26-28 November

International Justice and the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region

An information note prepared for the roundtable discussion on international cooperation (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda)

In June of this year the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region (the Pact) came into force, having been ratified by eight states in the Great Lakes region. The Pact comprises a comprehensive package of new laws, programmes of action and mechanisms reflecting an ambitious range of undertakings by states in the region on issues ranging from economic integration, to mutual defence, to the principle of the responsibility to protect – and international justice. Driving the Pact is an:

individual and collective determination […] to transform the Great Lakes Region, […] into a space of durable peace and security, of political and social stability, and of economic growth and shared development by multi-sector cooperation and integration for the sole benefit of our peoples.

The adoption of the Pact is the culmination of many years of collaboration between states in the Great Lakes region, the international community and civil society in a process known as the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

Read the information note here.

17 November

In the Interests of Justice? Prospects and Challenges for International Justice in Africa

IRRI announces the launch of its survey of the experience of international justice in Africa, In the Interests of Justice? Prospects and Challenges for International Justice in Africa at a panel discussion held on Friday 14 November in Abuja on the occasion of the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights. The report was subsequently launched in Europe at a panel discussion in the Hague on the occasion of the Seventh Session of the Assembly of States Parties of the ICC.

Drawing on the contributions of expert practitioners and advocates working on international justice across the continent – some of which were shared at a workshop held in Kampala on 17 July (the report which can be found here) – the report provides an overview of how international justice concepts, mechanisms and strategies have been deployed in Africa since the creation of the International Criminal
Tribunal for Rwanda.

Read the report here.

11 November

Going Home or Staying Home? Ending Displacement for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

This paper is the first of a series of working papers that form part of a collaborative project between IRRI, SSRC, and civil society and academic partners in the Great Lakes region. The project seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the linkages between conflicts over citizenship and belonging in the Great Lakes region, and forced displacement.

The paper focuses on issues of citizenship and belonging or exclusion for refugees who fled Burundi in the early 1970s and sought refuge in Tanzania.

Read the paper here.


21 October

Some Reflections on the Legal and Political Mechanisms Bolstering the Responsibility to Protect: The African Union and the Great Lakes, Eastern, Southern and Horn of Africa Sub-Regional Arrangements

Human rights and civil society activists meeting on the margins of the historic first tripartite summit of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), and Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Kampala, have asked the three regional bodies to harmonize their work, promote economic justice and ensure early warning and prevention of humanitarian and human rights abuses in their respective geographical areas.

Read the discussion paper here.

19 September

The Great Lakes Pact and the Rights of Displaced People: A Guide for Civil Society

Following the entry into force in June 2008 of the Pact on Security, Stability and Development in Africa’s Great Lakes region (the Great Lakes Pact), the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) released The Great Lakes Pact and the Rights of Displaced People: A Guide for Civil Society. The Guide aims to help organisations use the Great Lakes Pact to promote the rights of refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in the region.

Read the Guide in English here.
En francais.


17 July

International Justice in Africa: Prospects and Challenges

Over the last year the International Refugee Rights Initiative, with the generous project and technical assistance of the Open Society Justice Initiative, has been consulting regional experts to conduct a review of the experience of international justice in Africa. The first reflections from this project were presented at the workshop held in Kampala on 17 July 2008, the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (the Rome Statute).

Read the report here.

7-9 May

The Inter-Relationship Between Violence, Displacement and the Transition to Stability in the Great Lakes Region

Concept paper presented by Lucy Hovil at the Violence and Transition Project Roundtable in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Read the paper here.

17-18 April

Aspects of the Emerging Legal Framework Bolstering the Responsibility to Protect in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region

Paper presented during a conference in Kampala.

Read the paper here.