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Title: Prosecution of Crimes against Humanity and Genocide in Africa: A Comparative Analysis
Authors: Fekade, Alemayhu
Advisors: Daniel Alemu (LL.D)
Copyright: Dec-2010
Date Added: 4-May-2012
Publisher: AAU
Abstract: Despite years of impunity in Africa, the 1990s saw the perpetrators of some of the atrocities in the continent face trials. However, all these efforts are varied. Some countries went through prosecuting perpetrators of crimes against humanity and genocide through their domestic courts, while other perpetrators were brought before international ad hoc tribunals. Moreover, as of 1 July, 2002, the first permanent international criminal tribunal in the world’s history, the International Criminal Court (ICC) had also pursued such perpetrators. These all efforts show the lack of uniform organized approach to dealing with crimes against humanity and genocide in the continent. This in turn leaves the issue of prosecution to the whim of governments and international organizations like the United Nations. This means prosecutions could only happen when these governments and organizations want it. This scenario encourages impunity as leaders of some governments seek to shy away from prosecuting such crimes for a reason of comradeship with the alleged perpetrators or fearing that they would one day face such prosecution themselves. On the other hand, it might happen that by prosecuting, governments want to send some political message to their opponents. The case of the United Nations Security Council is also not different. The taking of action by the Security Council depends on the political priority of the members as it is also a political organ. All in all, the consideration of prosecuting crimes against humanity and genocide would to a large extent be based on non-legal considerations, rather than ending the fight against impunity. The existence of impunity in the continent, in turn, creates a peace and security threat as victims look to the bushes rather than the court room to bring justice for the crimes they thought were perpetrated against them. This paper studies the legal frameworks or systems upon which the prosecutions took place, the challenges they faced or will face in the future and recommend the best system for prosecuting crimes against humanity and genocide in Africa by selecting five legal frameworks; the ICC, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the Ethiopian Legal frame work for the prosecution of crimes against humanity and genocide, Senegal legal frame work for the Prosecution of Hissene Habre, and the Rwandan Legal frame work, including the ICTR.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/2534
Appears in:Thesis - Law

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