Media Coverage

4/9/2019

President Emmanuel Macron has appointed researchers to carry out a two-year investigation into the role of the French army in the Rwandan genocide. The nine-member commission will have access to presidential, diplomatic, military, and intelligence archives.

Macron’s predecessor François Hollande declassified presidential archives on the subject in 2015, but researchers have complained that only a fraction of the classified documents have surfaced and say a conclusive account on the role played by France is yet to be produced.

4/4/2019

A group of Liberians based in the U.S. has formed a National Peace and Reconciliation Initiative (NPRI) to promote peace among Liberians. National Chairman Dr. Joe Gbaba says the goal of the NPRI is to provide a forum where Liberians of diverse opinions have an opportunity to exchange views on ways to achieve sustainable peace and reconciliation in Liberia.

4/4/2019

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Nicholas Koumjian of the United States of America as Head of the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

Mr. Koumjian will be the first Head of the Myanmar Mechanism, which was established by the Human Rights Council on 27 September 2018, and welcomed by the General Assembly on 22 December 2018.

4/4/2019

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell is set to issue a first-ever apology to Italian-Americans for the city's role in the largest mass lynching in U.S. history, which killed 11 Italians in New Orleans in 1891. The lynching was sparked when a jury acquitted more than a dozen Italians who were rounded up in the wake of Police Commissioner David Hennessy's murder. A mob proceeded to storm the prison where the Italians were held, leaving the bodies "riddled by bullets or hanged to lamp posts."

4/4/2019

Belgium apologized on Thursday for the kidnapping, segregation, deportation, and forced adoption of thousands of children born to mixed-race couples during its colonial rule of Burundi, Congo, and Rwanda.

The apology is the first time that Belgium has recognized any responsibility for what historians say was the immense harm the country inflicted on the Central African nations, which it colonized for eight decades. Prime Minister Charles Michel offered the apology in front of a plenary session of Parliament, which was attended by people of mixed race in the visitors’ gallery.

4/4/2019

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria has resigned under pressure from the army following weeks of mass protests, closing out the reign of North Africa’s longest-serving leader but not ending a political impasse in a country where protesters are demanding revolutionary change.

His departure followed quickly after a statement from Army Chief of Staff, General Ahmed Gaid Salah, the traditional arbiter of political life in the country, calling for an “immediate” declaration from the constitutional council that Mr. Bouteflika was unfit for office.

4/2/2019

The chief presidential advisor on human rights, Francisco Barbosa, revealed that if Congress rejects President Ivan Duque’s objections to the statutory law that established the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP), the president will approve the law.

“The country should know that if the objections are rejected, the president of the Republic will comply with the Constitution and approve the statutory law,” Barbosa said.

4/2/2019

The Transitional Justice Commission of the Republic of China plans to complete its survey of roads named Zhongzheng, a name adopted by Chiang Kai-shek, by September. It wants to establish the number of roads nationwide with names that symbolize the nation’s authoritarian past, as well as the history behind the names.

4/2/2019

During a meeting with representatives of the Armenian community in Austria, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan confirmed that an arrangement had been made so that the National Assembly, and not the government, will lead transitional justice in Armenia.

“I hope that the [different factions within the] National Assembly…will work [together] so that an acceptable mechanism for transitional justice is found,” he said.

4/2/2019

The Truth and Dignity Commission (TDC) of Tunisia has released its final report, a devastating 2,000-page archive of torture and human rights violations that is intended to prevent the return of authoritarian rule. The president of the TDC, Sihem Bensedrine, unveiled the document at a ceremony in Tunis and posted the entire Arabic-language document on the commission’s website. The report is the product of four and a half years of investigation mandated by a constitutional assembly after Tunisia’s popular uprising of 2010 and 2011.

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