World Report

Program Expert for Sudan and Ethiopia


The democratic transition in Ethiopia is taking a worrisome turn. The sweeping reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2018 after decades of repressive rule and three years of deadly protests raised hopes for a more just and free society, one in which power is distributed equally among the country’s many ethnic groups. Worryingly, the failure to reach an inclusive political agreement on the way forward has triggered intercommunal violence and conflicts that have left hundreds of people dead and more than 2.7 million displaced throughout the country.

Head of Office, Côte d’Ivoire


Côte d’Ivoire descended into chaos following the October 2010 elections. One of the enduring lessons from this tragic experience could be that elections should never give a reason to set one’s country on fire. Like it or not, however, presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire have become a malaise that grips the country every five years. And while the 2015 presidential elections were carried out peacefully, the recent October 2020 elections unfortunately were not. The tensions and violence that accompanied it, though far less devastating, brought back macabre memories of the 2010 post-election carnage that left 3,000 people dead and forced more an a million to flee their homes.


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Head of Office, Kenya


The signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan  on September 12, 2018, has been lauded as the best opportunity for peace in the country. However, the continued delays in implementing it, including the establishment of stipulated transitional justice mechanisms, have raised growing concerns within the international community. One essential part of the agreement that has not been executed is the consolidation of the military and the opposition and rebel forces into one army.

Deputy Executive Director and Director of Programs


On September 14, the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) publicly apologized to the victims of the kidnappings they perpetrated during the armed conflict. This unprecedented public declaration from a non-state armed group merits reflection from both the perspective of the transitional justice field as a whole and its implications for Colombia.

Head of Office, Colombia


On August 4th, former President Alvaro Uribe surprised the country with a tweet announcing that he would be placed under house arrest for suspected witness tampering and obstruction of justice by the Special Instruction Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice as part of an investigation that has been underway since 2018. According to the court, this decision was made out of a concern for possible obstruction of justice, which appears to be consistent with the ongoing investigation into these same charges. This is undoubtedly an unprecedented situation.

Senior Expert, Programs


It may seem trivial for me to write about why those who continue to mark July 17 as "International Justice Day" should finally stop calling it that. Many human rights groups (including ICTJ), United Nations agencies, and governments have been publicly using that phrase since 2010. It is for victims of massive and systematic human rights violations, including abuses that amount to international crimes under the Rome Statute, that it is important to end the misconception that the phrase encourages.

Head of Office, Brussels and the Hague


In the wake of the mass demonstrations in the United States, activists in European cities similarly took the streets to protest against racism and police violence. In Belgium, mostly young activists have defaced statues of King Leopold II with red paint, insisting public spaces be "decolonized" that commemorate the monarch who personally owned the Congo for more than two decades before relinquishing it to the Belgian government which then controlled it for half a century. Are Belgian and other societies in Europe ready to reckon with the truth of their colonial legacies?

Senior Expert, Programs


In April in the German city of Koblenz, the world’s first war crimes trial of a senior ranking Syrian soldier got under way. The 100-page long indictment included a litany of horrors allegedly perpetrated against political enemies of the Assad Regime. Also in April, an Iraqi went on trial in Frankfurt, accused of participating in an Islamic State-led campaign to exterminate the Yazidi religious minority, including the brutal killing of a 5-year-old girl. It is no surprise that both these trials are taking place in Germany. Germany has become a world leader in the pursuit of international justice through universal jurisdiction. However, the country was not always a champion at combating impunity.

Program Expert, Lebanon


In war-torn Yemen, COVID-19 presents an imminent danger to the country’s 30 million people, 80 percent of whom rely on humanitarian aid to survive. For more than five years, brutal conflict has devastated the country and its economy, infrastructure, and public services including the health care system. By most accounts, the likelihood is high that the disease will spread through Yemen as the number of cases in neighboring countries continues to grow.