Friday, August 16, 2019

The Flouting of the Geneva Conventions

World governments are not doing enough to stop armed groups from committing mass rape, torture and other war crimes, the head of the Red Cross aid group head Peter Maurer said.

“It is clear by the obvious terrible suffering in today’s conflicts that the Geneva Conventions are not universally respected,” Maurer told the U.N. Security Council. “Too often, ICRC sees the impact on people when international humanitarian law is violated — indiscriminate killing, torture, rape, cities destroyed, psychological trauma inflicted.”

As he spoke, fighting raged in Syria, Libya, Yemen, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other hotspots in which United Nations investigators have warned of widespread civilian casualties and other likely war crimes.

Governments should sign up to humanitarian law treaties, pass domestic legislation, train more war crimes sleuths and raise the ethical standards of soldiers, said Maurer, a former Swiss ambassador.

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said military field commanders needed to know that pulling the trigger on an ethnic cleansing campaign could well see them end up in the dock of The Hague.

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