African war crimes suspect transferred to International Criminal Court

3 July 2008Belgian authorities today transferred Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and rape, to the Court’s detention centre in The Hague. Belgian authorities today transferred Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) with multiple counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder and rape, to the Court’s detention centre in The Hague. Mr. Bemba – President and Commander in Chief of the Mouvement de libération du Congo (MLC), an armed group that intervened in the 2002-2003 armed conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) – is alleged to be criminally responsible for five counts of war crimes and three counts of crimes against humanity committed on the territory of the CAR from 25 October 2002 to 15 March 2003. “Justice is coming for the victims, for the victims of the Central African Republic, for the victims of massive sexual violence worldwide,” ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said, welcoming the transfer of Mr. Bemba.He thanked the Belgian authorities for their efforts relating to the arrest and transfer of Mr. Bemba. “The case of Jean-Pierre Bemba is a text book example of how cooperation should work; it is such cooperation, by all States parties, which makes this Court, 10 years after the adoption of the Rome Statute, a reality,” he said. Mr. Bemba’s initial appearance before the Pre-Trial Chamber is scheduled for tomorrow. read more

In Egypt Ban calls on Arab leaders to strengthen bonds for regions

“Today, war and violence in the region, reprehensible acts of terrorism and the seemingly endless Israeli occupation of Palestine, are causing enormous suffering,” said Mr. Ban in remarks to the League of Arab States Summit, taking place in Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, stressing that the impact of all these threats transcends the Arab world and poses “a direct challenge to international peace and security.” “To counter these trends, we must address the root causes that fuel extremism and violence. Even when security measures are needed, reliance on military approaches alone will not solve these problems,” the UN chief declared, adding that security responses must respect human rights. Indeed, fighting extremism while committing abuses is not only wrong, it is counter-productive, he continued, noting that whenever this has been tried, the appeal for extremism actually increases. Without good governance, the rule of law, respect for women’s rights and all human rights, long-term political stability will remain a mirage. Nowhere are the problems of governance and radicalism more pressing than in Syria. The Syrian people have now entered the fifth year of a war that has ripped their country to shreds, said Mr. Ban. “Speaking today to the distinguished leadership of the Arab world, I confess to you my anger and my shame. Anger at observing the Syrian Government, extremist and terrorist groups and terrorists relentlessly destroy their country,” the Secretary-General said, and that he felt shame at sharing in the collective failure of international and regional communities to decisively act to “stop the carnage that has afflicted the Arab brothers and sisters of Syria.” “The crisis risks spreading as fast as our credibility risks shrinking. The Syrian people are being betrayed and this cannot continue,” he said, telling the Summit that he is instructing his Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to intensify UN-backed political efforts and to consult widely with Security Council members as well as throughout the region, including with the Syrian parties themselves. Specifically, he and his team will work to operationalize and flesh out elements in the Geneva communiqué. Following this Summit, Mr. Ban said that will head to the Third International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria and he thanked the Amir of Kuwait for convening that vital gathering. “I also thank you for your generous contributions. I urge you to do even more to respond to the suffering and misery resulting from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today.” He went on to note that Lebanon remains unique in the face of the continuing impact of the Syrian conflict, including the growing threat by Da’esh (the Arab acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL) and others, as it stands as an example of co-existence. “I urge Lebanese political leaders to overcome their political differences and elect a President to fill the leadership vacuum which has stretched for over a year.” Turning next to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said seven months after the end of yet another war with Israel, Gaza remains a tinderbox – and the situation is getting worse by the day. “Neither blockade nor military action has made either side safer. I call on donors to make good on the pledges they made in Cairo last October. Help bring Gaza back to life.” The Arab-Israeli peace process is further threatened by calls to discard or undermine the two-state solution endorsed by the international community and outlined in the visionary Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the Arab League’s 2002 Summit. “Once again, I urge Israel to end what is now nearly half a century of occupation. I urge the Palestinians to overcome their divisions. And I call upon the friends and supporters of both to push for a just and lasting solution based on international law,” the Secretary-General said. As for the “unraveling” situation in Yemen and the tremendous toll it is taking on an already suffering population, the UN chief said that earlier in the programme he had listened very carefully to the statements by King Salman of Saudi Arabia and President Hadi of Yemen. “I share those deep concerns. I have repeatedly condemned the attempts by the Houthis and former President Saleh to undermine political agreements by military force. I take note that military action has been undertaken at the request of Yemen’s sovereign and legitimate leader, President Hadi” the Secretary-General said, also recalling the recent Presidential Statement adopted by the Security Council that encourages Yemenis to return as quickly as possible to an inclusive political process, conducted in good faith. Negotiations facilitated by UN Special Envoy Jamal Benomar, as endorsed by the Security Council, remain the only chance to prevent a long drawn out conflict. “It is my fervent hope that at this League of Arab States summit, Arab leaders will lay-down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen,” he added. Looking further to the west, Mr. Ban said it is crucial that the international community continue to encourage dialogue among the Libyan people. UN-facilitated talks between Libyan actors are continuing along multiple tracks, facilitated by UN Special Representative Bernardino Leon. The preservation of Libya’s unity and territorial integrity is essential. “In Iraq, I encourage leaders to continue and deepen national reconciliation efforts. I appreciate the League’s support to the people and Government of Iraq in their fight against Daesh. This support also benefits regional stability.” As for Somalia, the UN chief urged all partners to fully support the political progress in the country, while stepping up efforts to stabilize the areas recovered from Al-Shabaab control. On Sudan, he said that national dialogue is also critical and he urged that the process take place in a credible and conducive environment. “The Doha Document for Peace in Darfur provides a good framework to address the root causes of the conflict. Implementation efforts must continue.” In closing, The Secretary-General said he is pleased by the ever-strengthening cooperation between the UN and the League of Arab States. “This must be a year of global action for sustainable development and dignity for all. We will reach the target date of the Millennium Development Goals and have the chance to adopt a new generation of sustainable development goals in September and a meaningful, global climate agreement in December in Paris.” He also noted that next month, he and the President of the UN General Assembly would bring together leaders from different faith communities to a special event at the United Nations to promote mutual understanding and reconciliation. Further, the UN Counter-Terrorism Center will submit to the General Assembly in September a comprehensive plan to address extremism and terrorism, and M.r Ban thanked King Salman of Saudi Arabia for his generous support for this initiative. “As we advance on the post-2015 development agenda, and work for peaceful resolutions to conflict,” said the Secretary-General. read more

Strictly Come Dancing celebrities turn shy as they ditch skimpy outfits to

first_imgRachel Hunter and Brendan Cole reveal all in a Strictly Christmas special  Rachel Hunter and Brendan Cole reveal all in a Strictly Christmas special Credit:BBC Greg Rutherford covers upCredit:BBC Rutherford, the long jumper, said he has asked to avoid revealing too much of his chest, after seeing his body “out there” in his day job on a regular basis, while Balls said he is having no glitter or sequins. I genuinely have,” he said. “I’ve gone into costume and said ‘I do that so much in what I do, can I just not be naked please?’ So initially they [the costumes] are very conservative. T-shirt, blazer, the lot.”He added of showing off his chest: “I do it all the time for everything else, magazine shoots and whatever. I’d like to not be that guy who’s out there all the time.” Ed Ball has eschewed sequins and glitter, preferring a classic lookCredit:BBC Anastacia on the Strictly red carpetCredit:David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock Louise Redknapp has opted for a more demure outfit Credit:BBC “You take your age into consideration, and your family. I naturally as a person would take into consideration my circumstances because I think you owe that to yourself.”Balls, the 49-year-old former Shadow Chancellor, said he was having “no sequins and no glitter”, being “very classical” in his formal suits on the dance floor. Can I just not be naked please?Greg Rutherford Anastacia on the Strictly red carpet Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. In 2014, dancer Ola Jordan warned skirts were getting shorter, admitting she understood why celebrities might now feel “uncomfortable” with expectations.“It is happening to the boys now,” she added. “The producers love it, they are taking the boys’ tops off.” Ed Ball has eschewed sequins and glitter, preferring a classic look The new series of Strictly will get underway tonight on BBC One, with an opening night show featuring the celebrities’ first dance and revealing their partners.Speaking ahead of the show, Rutherford, 29, said he had “specifically asked not to” take his shirt off. He told journalists he hoped to lose weight on the show, admitting getting in shape was one of the reasons his wife Yvette Cooper thought he should do it.Describing himself as looking like a “camp rugby player” on the dance floor, he added he had received support from fellow politicians who had text him to confess they “wished they could do it” too. Redknapp, the singer who has been married to footballer Jamie Redknapp for 19 years, said she had requested to have high necklines.“I’m the boring one,” she said. “I need to feel comfortable. Mark Foster, the swimming, became famous for his bare-chested antics in 2008Credit:BBC Greg Rutherford covers up As the glitziest show on television, Strictly Come Dancing has never been afraid to show off its stars’ figures in all their glory.But this year’s contestants appear to have turned shy, as celebrities request more demure outfits to protect their modesty.Strictly contestants including Greg Rutherford, the Olympic athlete, Louise Redknapp, the pop star, and former Labour politician Ed Balls have disclosed they have made special requests to the costume department, toning down the revealing, sequinned suits of yore. The quartet will be joined on the Strictly dance floor by pop star Will Young, model Daisy Lowe, Olympic gymnast Claudia Fragapane, BBC presenter Naga Manchetty and Lesley Joseph, the actress and oldest woman to ever take part in the show at 70.This year’s cohort of completed by soap actors Danny Mac and Tameke Empson, presenters Laura Whitmore, Ore Oduba, Melvin Odoom, and television’s Judge Rinder who said he hoped his friend Benedict Cumberbatch would be supporting him in the Strictly audience.Strictly Come Dancing begins on Saturday at 6.50pm on BBC One. Louise Redknapp has opted for a more demure outfit  Redknapp, a 41-year-old mother of two, said she wanted to take her age and family “into consideration”, politely asking for higher necklines and longer skirts than are often seen on screen.This season may be a notable difference from previous years, where celebrity contestants have joined professional dancers in high hems, bare midriffs and tight lycra. Mark Foster, the swimming, became famous for his bare-chested antics in 2008 Anastacia, the singer who will be donating her television fee to breast cancer charities after undergoing a double mastectomy, said she will also be paying special attention to her costume.”I have big scars on my back which I don’t know whether I’ll have the guts to reveal or whether I’ll have to cover them up,” she said, adding she had initially told the dress department: “I’d really like you to reserve my costumes to be a little more tailored to this.”last_img read more