Regional ministers condemn European judges

A regional inter-ministerial committee of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has strongly condemned the abuse of the principles of universal jurisdiction by some European judges.

A regional inter-ministerial committee of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has strongly condemned the abuse of the principles of universal jurisdiction by some European judges.

This condemnation was made last week in Brazzaville, Congo Republic, at the end of the second regional inter-ministerial committee meeting.

The ministers’ move was in reaction to indictments of some Rwandan military officers by two European judges namely Fernando Andreu Mirrelles (Spain) and Jean-Louis Bruguière of France.

In a statement, the ministers “expressed their concern that the abuse of the principles of universal jurisdiction is a blatant affront to the sovereignty of member states of the international Conference on the Great Lakes region and other countries of Africa in General.”

The meeting directed the “Executive Secretary of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, in conjunction with the Tripartite Plus, to carry out a comprehensive study on the question and propose appropriate mechanisms, within the context of International Law, to safeguard the sovereignty of its member states, and submit it to the next RIMC for consideration.”

The grouping is composed of 11 countries. The same meeting also affirmed ICGLR member states’ support for the efforts of the Government of DRC to implement the November 9, 2007 Nairobi Joint Communiqué.

“Consequently, the ICGLR encourages the Ex-Far/Interahamwe to voluntarily disarm and repatriate to Rwanda,” they said in a statement.

They also demanded that all “foreign armed groups illegally operating in DRC, especially the Ex-Far /Interahamwe, seize the opportunity offered by the Government of the DRC to disarm voluntarily.”

“If not, military pressure will be applied as foreseen in the Nairobi Communiqué which is supported by all the Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region and the International Community,” the communiqué added.

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