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Chapter 4 explains how an initially defensive alliance between the post-liberation elites of the region developed into a more philosophical, aspirational and militarised one, focused – putatively – around promoting regional liberation projects. The chapter demonstrates how summitry around support for the South Sudanese SPLM/A during this period provided a space for the four movements to share ideas on promoting wider regional transformation, most notably in Zaïre – a notion that spoke to their shared heritage as liberation movements and shared understanding of violence as an effective reform mechanism. The chapter cautions, however, against understanding the four elites’ involvement in the Zaïre/Congo wars as motivated by a coherent understanding of, and commitment to, regional liberation. The Horn movements’ engagement took place at a much more theoretical and superficial level than those of the Great Lakes, and elites in Addis Ababa, Asmara and Kampala took a quite different view on legitimate ways to promote liberation in Zaïre to counterparts in Kigali. The chapter also reflects, then, on the challenges encountered by post-liberation movements in reframing their country’s place in regional security frameworks, and in reimagining struggle era ideational frameworks in a new context.
The Policy on Children published by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Office of the Prosecutor in 2016 represents a significant step toward accountability for harms to children in armed conflict and similar situations of extreme violence. This article describes the process that led to the Policy and outlines the Policy's contents. It then surveys relevant ICC practice and related developments, concluding that despite some salutary efforts, much remains to be done to recognize, prevent and punish the spectrum of conflicted-related crimes against or affecting children.
On 26 July 1946, in court room 600 of the majestic ‘Palace of Justice’ (Justizpalast) in Nuremburg, Germany, Sir Hartley Shawcross (1902–2003), the British Chief prosecutor at the International Military Tribunal, presented his closing arguments on the 187th day in the case against the twenty-two high-ranking Nazi defendants, including Hermann Göring and Rudolf Hess. The British team had met with French professor René Cassin (1887–1976) in preparation for the landmark trial,1 and Shawcross’ speech had in large part been drafted by British law professor Hersch Lauterpacht, though he went off-script to include the charge of ‘genocide’, the term coined by Polish legal activist Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959).2 As the British case also covered the charges of ‘Crimes against Peace’, Shawcross’ arguments would have also touched upon the work of Soviet international law scholar Aron N. Trainin (1883–1957), author of ‘Hitlerite Responsibility under International Law’, a small pamphlet that apparently had been read by many in preparation for the trial in Nuremberg3 and which, uncharacteristically for Soviet discourse by the end of the war and after, was very explicit in its treatment of the Jewish identity of many of the victims of the Holocaust.4
In the postscript, I remark on the tenacity of the narratives of regional linguistic identity that were produced in the early twentieth century and the way in which elite justifications for a homogenous, Odia-speaking community came to transcend the sites of their production to take a central place in the nation’s imagination. Through a discussion of contemporary adivasi activism as part of the Maoist movement, adivasi opposition to economic liberalization as well as the controversies about Christian conversion of adivasis in Odisha, I show how the Odia appropriation of adivasi pasts remains the central problematic through which the struggles between the Odia mainstream majority and the adivasi minority are enacted.
Starting as a civil uprising calling for liberal reforms in March 2011, the struggle in Syria rapidly deteriorated into a proxy-led armed conflict involving multiple state-sponsored and non-state actors, including foreign militias and local armed groups. The current state of affairs in Syria and the uncertainty regarding its future raise numerous questions for scholars of both international law and politics. The combination of legal and political issues was used in this volume to tackle and evaluate questions of justice within the context of a changing political reality in Syria. This volume contributes uniquely to the scholarship on the Syrian war, raising voices not often heard within this research context from the region and beyond. The volume is divided to three sections: Part I sets the factual and legal framework for the Syrian conflict; Part II focuses on the implications of the conflict for the Syrian neighbourhood; and Part III analyses possible post-conflict scenarios. Together, they address the key themes and questions of the conflicts.
The chapter surveys crimes against humanity and genocide in the conflict. The authors provide a legal conceptual analysis of the two different international crimes – which share common features distinguishing them from ordinary crimes and yet are also legally distinguished from each other. Moodrick-Even Khen and Siman focus on specific conduct that form two of the most documented crimes in the Syrian conflict: the crimes against humanity of torture and extermination of prisoners in detention facilities of the Syrian government; and the genocide of the Yazidis committed by ISIS. The legal analysis is used to explain who, among the various parties to the conflict in Syria, is responsible for each crime and the justifications for the allegations against each party.
This chapter examines whether global poverty is sufficient to justify resistance. It sets a high bar for activating the right to resistance by aligning it with crimes against humanity and genocide. These are test cases that intuitively justify resistance. If one could not resist Nazism, then the right to resistance would be meaningless. It argues that comparisons between global poverty and genocide are inaccurate; they fail to capture the distinctive collective nature of genocide as a crime. The same cannot be said with crimes against humanity. There is no reason to disqualify global poverty based on the elements of a crime against humanity. This, however, does not make a comparison valid.
The second half of the chapter argues that global poverty is comparable to the crimes of slavery and apartheid. This is because each case is characterised by extreme domination either interactionally or systemically. This is sufficient to make the case that global poverty is comparable to a crime against humanity and therefore triggers the right to resistance.
The archaeology of genocide, war crimes, and mass death has become a growing sub-discipline in recent decades, with the most attention given to the locations of National Socialist ‘terror and mass death’. Within genocide research, the porajmos, or genocide of Romani people, is not a well-known topic, especially in Slovenia. Contrary to popular belief, the mistreatment of Romani and violence against them was not inflicted only by the Nazis and their allies, but by pro-communist-orientated Slovenian partisans as well. Archaeological traces of three mass executions have provided us with evidence of serious and poignant crimes committed against the Romani ethnic minority. The remains might have a significant role in determining whether these crimes are a part of porajmos or not and represent a unique material testimony of crimes against the Romani population in the Slovenian and the wider European context.
Argues that despite hopes of sweeping change, Clinton ended up running a traditional, Cold War–style foreign policy. He used Cold War institutions like NATO, and acted to contain Russian power in the Balkans. Examines attempts to apply a Clinton Doctrine and its successes and failures. Argues that Clinton's interventions advanced a trend of wars of Muslim liberation.
Chapter 4 introduces the case study of Rwanda, which offers a paradigmatic example of what happens when thousands of minors are accused of, and pursued for, committing acts of atrocity, in a post-conflict state that has been thoroughly decimated. The chapter first provides a synopsis of the civil war and genocide, describing in particular children’s involvement as perpetrators. It then turns to post-genocide Rwanda to explore the impact of the genocide on the social fabric (in particular the perception of the child and society’s demand for justice and accountability) and the judicial system, and outlines the involvement of international and domestic actors in the reconstruction process. Finally, it briefly examines the position of the child offender under Rwandan law, noting also Rwanda’s international obligations at the time covered by the book. In addition to setting the scene, the chapter draws out the challenges generated primarily by the genocide (recognising that some issues were latent) so as to contextualise both Rwanda’s responses to child perpetrators as well as the approach adopted by international actors, in particular UNICEF.
In 1972, a localised rebellion against the Tutsi-dominated state triggered a ‘selective’ genocide against the Hutu population. This chapter considers the actions and representations of the rebellion, then examines the phases of genocidal repression: massacres in the areas affected by the rebellion, the elimination of prominent politicians, and the decentralised arrest and disappearance of key individuals across the countryside. It explores the processes of legal triage that authorised the murder of civilians through the categorisation of suspicious classes of local intellectuals, teachers, priests and successful traders. It devotes special attention to the role of the youth league in the local repression, partly captured by the control of information and the bureaucratisation of violence. It then considers the different faces of truth in violence: total state denial, the use of frank truth as hopeless protest, the lingering possibilities of loyalty to official truth, and the construction of new truths in the aftermath. The chapter ends with the popular renditions of a postcolonial order, in the nature of violent authority and ethnic community, as being revealed through violence.
Explaining why restraint of violence becomes a strategy for armed groups has recently attracted the attention of researchers, especially political scientists. The emergent literature generally argues by way of macro-level statistical correlation, in which a single factor, such as the desire of armed groups to adhere to international norms about human rights or the existence of high levels of political education among fighters, is believed to explain the presence of restraint. Missing in this approach are close analyses of actual historical episodes of restraint. We thus lack comprehension of how those with ideas about restraining violence translate their thoughts into actions, especially in contexts such as civil wars. This article addresses this weakness by examining the history of a Balkan community wracked by intercommunal violence during 1941 to explain the puzzling practice of restraint in the midst of waves of retaliatory violence. Rather than identify a single factor, this micro-comparative case study reveals that a cluster of mostly endogenous factors, shaped significantly by ongoing violence, explains the successful practice of restraint. Methodologically, this article stresses the need for researchers of restraint to employ microhistorical and comparative methods. They hold the greatest potential to illuminate what remains insufficiently explained in the extant political science literature: the contingent local processes whereby a desire for restraint or escalation of violence—the existence of which may be conditioned by longer-term historical developments—becomes a reality in certain moments.
This essay provides a critical review of the field of postcolonial African genocide writing. The review makes a case for scholarly recognition of the discourse of African genocide literature. The essay advances some broad claims, among which include the following: that genocidal atrocities in Africa have provoked a body of imaginative literature, which, among other things, has attempted to imagine the conditions giving rise to African genocides, and that this body of literature underlines a confluence of sensibilities shaping atrocity writings and their critical receptions in Africa since the mid-twentieth century. The review provides a critical overview of fictional narratives as well as their scholarly receptions bordering on genocidal atrocities in the Nigerian and Rwandan contexts.
Rwanda has become the paradigmatic case for a missed opportunity to prevent genocide and human suffering on the largest scale, and subsequent analyses of this case have shaped a significant part of the practical and academic thinking. The chapter contests the dominant argument that Rwanda was a straightforward case for heeding plenty, early and high-quality warnings. It argues that indications need to be distinguished from actual warnings and persuasiveness of warnings needs to be empirically studied rather than assumed. The analysis shows that most sources cited in the literature did not contain an actual warning and gave a more ambiguous picture than is claimed by proponents who argue that lack of political will, not warnings, was the problem. It is suggested that hindsight bias partly explains why the availability of warnings has been overestimated, whereas the diagnostic difficulties in this case were underestimated. Contrary to expectations, persuasive warning communication appears to be no less of a problem for preventive policy as the will and ability to respond. The findings suggest that renewed attention is needed to the challenge of making knowledge, relevance and action claims about impending mass atrocities that are clear and persuasive enough.
The chapter introduces the research puzzle of the study: under what conditions do warnings about impending violent conflict in other states succeed in persuading foreign policy-makers to pay more attention, shift their attitudes and mobilise for preventive or mitigating action? Why are some warnings by some sources noticed and largely accepted, while others are ignored, disbelieved or simply not acted upon? The introduction reviews briefly the literature on the warning–response gap in intelligence and peace studies and makes the case for recasting the problem as one of persuasion. It defines and conceptualises what warnings are, their different claims and varied impact. It argues that only by explaining differences in persuasiveness can prospective warners learn the right lessons. To tackle the questions, the chapter introduces the comparative and longitudinal research design, the methods used and data gathered. The chapter concludes by outlining briefly the structure of the book.
And even though the impact of the Inquiry’s findings has led all state and territory parliaments to express such practices as abhorrent, determining that they will not happen in their respective jurisdictions, there is still a prevailing attitude in the broader community that what was done, was done ‘with the best intentions’ and ‘in the best interests of the child’. I would like to suggest an alternative perspective that may better explain the actions of early 20th-century politicians, pastoralists and developers.
After a genocide, leaders compete to fill the postwar power vacuum and establish their preferred story of the past. Memorialisation, including through building memorials, provides a cornerstone of political power. The dominant public narrative determines the plotline; it labels victims and perpetrators, interprets history, assigns meaning to suffering, and sets the post-atrocity political agenda. Therefore, ownership of the past, in terms of the public account, is deeply contested. Although many factors affect the emergence of a dominant atrocity narrative, this article highlights the role of international interactions with genocide memorials, particularly how Western visitors, funders, and consultants influence the government's narrative. Western consumption of memorials often reinforces aspects of dark tourism that dehumanise victims and discourage adequate context for the uninformed visitor. Funding and consultation provided by Western states and organisations – while offering distinct benefits – tends to encourage a homogenised atrocity narrative, which reflects the values of the global human rights regime and existing standards of memorial design rather than privileging the local particularities of the atrocity experience. As shown in the cases of Rwanda, Cambodia, and Bosnia, Western involvement in public memory projects often strengthens the power of government narratives, which control the present by controlling the past.
This chapter studies the work of memory in the domain of non-reconciled human rights, with respect to the cultural representations of the authoritarian Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. The work of memory, the author suggests, takes place outside the ambit of international human rights actors such as states and non-governmental organizations, and also that of conventional legal and juridical methods that are used to redress violations. To illustrate this point, she charts the history of the so called “Pol Pot time,” especially by means of a close reading of Rithy Panh’s 2011 memoir, The Elimination: A Survivor of the Khmer Rouge Confronts His Past and the Commandant of the Killing Fields. Bringing these postulations to the present moment, the chapter closes with a discussion of the United Nations/Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
This chapter looks at two nexuses: law-and-literature and human-rights-and-literature. In her analysis of Charles Reznikoff’s book-length poem Testimony: the United States (1885-1915): Recitative (1978), the author brings the law-and-literature paradigm to bear on literary expression of human rights. She finds in the text overlapping ideations of the procedural and the performative, in its juridical and literary dimensions. On the one hand, the text serves to show the limitations of the law and its technologies such as the trial, which literary performance can help compensate for. On the other hand, Reznikoff's poem also proves the necessity for these technologies as organizing principles, especially in methods like citation and precedent, in order to battle the ever present risk of erasure.