Assembly of States Parties – Side event
Creative responses to international criminal justice – complementarity and capacity building
10 December 2018, 18:00 – 20:00, World Forum
The event was opened by Richard Goldstone, AGJA member and Former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. Goldstone’s remarks focused on the important role that the AGJA has played in advocating for more effective justice and efforts across the African continent.
He was followed by fellow AGJA member,Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law, University of Oxford, who spoke about the ongoing capacity building programme implemented by Wayamo, AGJA and the International Nuremberg Principles Academy, aimed at encouraging national-level investigators and prosecutors to achieve justice effectively for crimes allegedly committed by Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.
Akande’s intervention was followed by a lively debate between Netsanet Belay, Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International, Claus Molitor, Situation Analyst, Office of the Prosecutor, ICC, Muhammed Umar,Nigerian Federal Director of Public Prosecutions Major General Yusuf Shalangwa,Director Legal Services Nigerian Army, and Olawale Fapohunda,Attorney-General of Ekiti State and Chair of the Nigerian Military Human Rights Dialogue. They discussed the ongoing efforts of national investigators and prosecutors to achieve justice for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Nigeria.
Belay outlined the findings of Amnesty International’s (AI) latest report on alleged atrocities in Nigeria, observing that these had not been sufficiently investigated or prosecuted and that the Nigerian authorities should be regarded as unable to do so.
Molitor outlined the continuing work of the Office of the Prosecutor in assessing efforts by Nigeria to investigate and prosecute alleged crimes committed by Boko Haram and the Nigerian military.
General Shalangwa described Nigeria’s commitment to accountability for alleged crimes, and stressed that the country was in a continuous process of learning how to fight asymmetrical warfare whilst ensuring that standards of international law were upheld.
Umar outlined some of Nigeria’s efforts to date and insisted that the country remained committed to investigating and prosecuting all international crimes committed on its territory.
Echoing the selfsame sentiment, Fapohunda proceeded to respond, directly and critically, to the AI report, focusing much of his remarks on the need for respectful dialogue and avoiding what he saw as aggressive rhetoric. The panellists’ spirited debate was followed by interventions from the floor.
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The event was organised as part of Wayamo and AGJA’s commitment to creating forums for constructive dialogue and bringing together actors to work and engage in a respectful and collaborative fashion. The side event would not have been possible without the generous support of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, The Netherlands, Finland, Germany, and Nigeria.
ABOUT THE AFRICA GROUP FOR JUSTICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
The Africa Group for Justice and Accountability (AGJA) is an independent group of senior African experts on international criminal law and human rights, which supports efforts to strengthen justice and accountability measures in Africa through domestic and regional capacity building, advice, and enhancing cooperation between Africa and the International Criminal Court.
ABOUT THE WAYAMO FOUNDATION
The Wayamo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation established to strengthen the rule of law, promote international criminal justice and foster transparency through informed journalism. Its main objective is to build the capacity of national judicial systems to enable them to address core international crimes, transnational organised crime and build transitional justice mechanisms. The Wayamo Foundation serves as AGJA´s Secretariat.