Niger Republic to hand over Boko Haram militants to ICC

The Niger Government has arrested scores of Boko Haram militants and would hand them over to the International Criminal Court, President Mahamadou Issoufou, has said.

Issoufou made this known on Tuesday during a high-level leaders’ round table entitled ‘Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity’, according to a document from the World Humanitarian Summit, ongoing in Istanbul, Turkey, made available to reporters in New York.

He said the Nigerien government would ensure the militants are tried by the ICC.

“This is something that all countries should do,” he said.

The best way to protect civilians, he added, was to ratify humanitarian conventions.

“Political, military and administrative authorities must be aware of pledges made by Governments and of the sanctions provided for under those conventions.”

Issoufou said that all countries must take on commitments to strengthen respect for international humanitarian law and human rights instruments, as well as guarantee that populations in need received humanitarian aid.

He said that Niger faced multiple humanitarian issues, including population displacement due to terrorist attacks.

According to him, Niger has ratified the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Ján Eliasson said, “International humanitarian law and human rights are under assault around the world.”

Eliasson said that civilians were being indiscriminately killed, while summary executions, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances and torture were daily realities.

“Lives are being shattered by sexual violence. Indeed, more than 150 years of achievements to protect the most vulnerable during conflict were unravelling. The Geneva Conventions seem to have been forgotten,” he said.

He called on UN Member States to promote respect for international law, enhance protection of civilians, allow unimpeded humanitarian access to those in need and condemn violations of international law.

For its part, he said, the UN was committed to speaking out against those abuses, strengthening the Human Rights Up Front Initiative and working to ensure that perpetrators were held to account and victims compensated.
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