Violence in the DRC
The UN-sponsored International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) has shaken the country’s political system to its core. However, the long-term consequences remain to be seen.
The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG)—founded in 2007 by a mutual agreement between the UN and the Guatemalan government—has shaken up the country’s entire political system. The Commission’s original mandate was aimed at dismantling organized criminal bands that ran rampant after the end of the country’s brutal 36-year armed conflict, including training and supporting the Public Ministry, the National Police and other entities of the Guatemalan state. CICIG was also conceived as an international support mission to “build-up” judicial institutions in Guatemala. Since its inception, the Commission has developed into a powerful political force, amassing significant legitimacy in the eyes of many Guatemalans. The commission’s success and prominence was a welcome development, gaining support outside of the elite circles.
The UN’s human rights chief has used a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council to criticise Ethiopia for a recent crackdown on opposition which has included the kidnapping and sentencing to death of a British man, Andargachew ‘Andy’ Tsege.
Speaking this morning at the opening session of the Council, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “While Ethiopia has made impressive gains in terms of economic development, we are deeply concerned about repeated allegations of excessive and lethal use of force against protestors, enforced disappearances, and mass detentions, including of children, as well as by worrying restrictions on civil society, the media and opposition.”
The High Commissioner said it was “mystifying” that the Ethiopian government refused to allow his office access to parts of the country where human rights abuses – including the recent shooting of protestors – have been alleged.
A man who was rendered to Gaddafi’s Libya in a joint MI6-CIA operation has written to Sir Mark Allen, the former MI6 official who was responsible for his ordeal, following a rare public comment by Sir Mark.
In a recent article for the Catholic Herald, Sir Mark Allen – formerly head of counter-terrorism at MI6 – argued for a faith-based “answer to terrorism.”
The article, published in August, was Sir Mark’s first known public comment since the exposure in 2011 of his role in the 2004 kidnap and rendition of two families to Libya – including Abdul Hakim Belhaj, his pregnant wife Fatima Boudchar, and the al-Saadis, who included a child as young as six. The Catholic Herald piece was published a day before the UK Crown Prosecution Service publicly confirmed its decision not to charge Sir Mark over the affair.