The impossible math of gacaca justice
Two years after the official March 10, 2005 start date for genocide trials before gacaca (community) courts, nearly 60,000 decisions have been rendered. This impressive figure, however, represents only 7% of those being prosecuted in Rwanda. And yet, the government has announced gacaca trials will finish at the end of 2007.
A new Ovcara trial opens without the victims
The families of 200 people massacred at Ovcara, near Vukovar, in November 1991, were conspicuous by their absence when the trial started over again on March 12 before the Special Court for War Crimes in Belgrade. The families are demanding that the Croatian government pay their travel expenses, after having refused assistance from the Belgrade Humanitarian Law Center. At the end of the first trial in 2005, 16 defendants were sentenced to a total of 231 years in prison for what was the worst war crime committed on Croatian territory during the war in former Yugoslavia. However, on December 14, 2006, the Supreme Court of Belgrade reversed that judgment and ordered a new trial, provoking indignation from the victims.
Haradinaj, trial in troubled waters
When he first appeared before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) on March 9, 2005, Ramush Haradinaj was Prime Minister of Kosovo. A former nightclub bouncer, he became leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) during the conflict with Serbia in 1998. His subordinate Idriz Balaj was commander of the KLA "Black Eagles", a "rapid intervention special unit". And his uncle, Lahi Brahimaj, was in charge of the KLA's finances. But for the prosecution, the trial of these three men, which started in The Hague on March 5, 2007, is not about a resistance movement breaching the laws of war, but about the cruel abuse of power.
• Burundi: New impasse between United Nations and government
• Cambodia: Progress on the rules of procedure for the Extraordinary Chambers
• Afghanistan: A sanitized amnesty