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Tag Archive: War Crimes

Protecting Civilians through Wartime Investigations: Applying the 2016 Minnesota Protocol When it Matters Most

It is highly important to have internationally recognized standards in investigating and prosecuting “potentially unlawful deaths”—an issue that is well recognized in the Foreward of the recently updated Protocol on Investigation of Potentially Unlawful Death (the “Minnesota Protocol”), as well as in Christof Heyns’ piece published at Just Security on Wednesday.…   continue »

Hundreds of foreigners are fighting for UAE in Yemen—How war crimes trials may deter them

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen continues to eye a takeover of the Port of Hodeida, which has been under the control of the Houthi rebels since they forced President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee Yemen back in 2014. Experts have warned about the risk of war crimes should the Saudi- and Emirates-led coalition seize the port (see Monday’s article by Ryan Goodman and Alex Moorehead).…   continue »

UAE, a Key US Partner in Yemen, Implicated in Detainee Abuse


One of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s regrettable statements during the Iraq war was his infamous response to an Army specialist asking about the lack of armor for military vehicles. Rumsfeld replied:

“You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

A similar sentiment may be floating around the Pentagon and White House this time with respect to partner forces in Yemen, who do not appear motivated or capable of handling the effort with the professionalism and respect for even the most basic humanitarian interests of the population on the ground.…   continue »

Contortions in the UK’s Arms Export Regime—and Costs of the Yemen War

Since the outset of Saudi Arabia’s intervention in Yemen, the UK has demonstrated that it is willing to go to great lengths to maintain its arms sales to Saudi Arabia.  This includes contorting the language of the UK’s own arms export control regime, and possibly even revising the regime, to allow for the provision of arms to a state against whom the evidence of widespread breaches of international humanitarian law (IHL) is mounting.…   continue »

Important New Bipartisan Bill To Advance Accountability for International Crimes in Syria


Following on the heels of last week’s chemical weapon attack in Syria, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Bob Corker (R-TN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Todd Young (R-IN) have introduced the Syria War Crimes Accountability Act of 2017, which authorizes the United States to provide technical and other forms of assistance to investigations and other credible transitional justice efforts, including a potential hybrid tribunal.  …   continue »

Shaky Legal Grounds: Syria Demands US Assault on Raqqa Must Work with Assad’s Forces


On Friday, Syria’s Ambassador to the United Nations stated that a U.S.-backed assault on ISIL’s capital city of Raqqa would be illegitimate unless militarily coordinated with Assad’s government. “Any military presence on our territory without the approval of the Syrian government is an illegitimate presence,” Syria’s Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Ja’afari told reporters.…   continue »

Russia Maintains Objection to General Assembly’s Mechanism for Syria


On 21 December 2016, the General Assembly (GA) adopted Resolution 71/248, creating a new body to collect evidence of international crimes in Syria (formally known as “the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011,” and in shorthand known as “the IIIM” or “the Mechanism”).…   continue »