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ICC Prosecutor Urges Libya Warring Parties To Honour Ceasefire Agreement

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The Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is urging Libya’s warring parties to implement their recent historic ceasefire agreement, calling it a “welcome concrete development” for a population that has been yearning for peace.

Fatou Bensouda made the appeal in her briefing to the Security Council on Tuesday, just weeks after the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the rival Libyan National Army (LNA) signed the deal in Geneva under the auspices of the UN.

“This is indeed a welcome concrete development. We call on the parties to assiduously implement the agreement to usher in the much-awaited peace and stability for the people of Libya,” she told the virtual meeting.

“Victims of atrocity crimes in Libya must be reassured that notwithstanding any ceasefire or future agreement, individuals alleged to be responsible for serious crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court will be promptly arrested and surrendered to the Court to face charges for their alleged crimes.”

A UN statement said for nearly a decade, the ICC has been investigating crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes, allegedly committed in Libya.

The country has been in chaos since the 2011 overthrow of former leader, the late Muammar Gaddafi, resulting in the two rival administrations, with the GNA based in the capital, Tripoli, and the Libyan National Army (LNA) controlling large areas in the east.

In her update to Ambassadors, Ms. Bensouda reported that despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ICC remains “resilient and productive”, with two crucial investigative missions deployed to Libya since May.

Her Office has been engaging with the authorities following the discovery of multiple mass graves in June. So far, more than 100 bodies have been exhumed. Many of the victims were blindfolded and had their hands tied.

The statement said the ICC has also received information on the recently ended offensive on the capital, Tripoli, carried out by the LNA and supporting forces.

Ms. Bensouda said the operation repeated a pattern of violence previously recorded in other cities, involving indiscriminate air strikes and shelling of civilian areas, arbitrary abductions, detention and torture of civilians, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances.

Her Office has also received credible information indicating increased use of landmines and improvised explosive devices against civilians, which were discovered following the retreat of forces from Tripoli and surrounding areas.

“Mines and improvised explosive devices are reported to have been placed in the garages, kitchens and bedrooms of civilian homes. Many civilians who returned to their homes after fleeing the fighting were either killed or injured because their homes were booby-trapped by such devices,” she said.

The Prosecutor characterized the threat, use and scale of these weapons as “deeply disturbing”, with nearly 50 people killed between May and July alone.

“I encourage this Council and all Members of the United Nations to once again convey a clear message – a clear and firm message to commanders, be they military or civilian, and all parties and armed group involved in the Libya conflict –- that the rules of international humanitarian law must be respected, and that those who defy such rules will be held individually responsible”.

The statrment said Ms. Bensouda’s briefing covered reports of other aspects of the situation in Libya, including the targeting of civilians for voicing opposition to militias, allegations of serious crimes committed in prisons and detention facilities, and crimes against displaced persons and migrants.

She also highlighted a recurring concern for the Court: the failure to arrest and surrender three Libyans who have ICC warrants against them.

They include the former President’s son, Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, and Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf Al-Werfalli, commander of an elite LNA brigade who is accused of killing more than 40 civilians.

“The non-execution of arrest warrants is the foremost obstacle to our collective capacities to give hopes to the people and victims of crimes in Libya. I urge this Council and the Member States to take effective and concrete steps to ensure that safe havens are not provided to fugitives from justice who face serious criminal charges before the International Criminal Court,” she stated.

Throughout her briefing, Ms. Bensouda emphasised the ICC’s commitment to seeking justice in Libya. However, she concluded with a wider vision of the Court’s role worldwide.

“We find ourselves in an age where powerful forces increasingly aim to undermine the course of international criminal justice as a continuation of politics by other means,” she told the Council.

“What is required today, more than ever, is greater support for the ICC, its independent and impartial work, and the international rule of law; not less. Any act that may undermine the global movement towards greater accountability for atrocity crimes and a rules-based international order must be avoided.”

Business News

Eskom Faces R5-Million Fine Over Kendal Power Station Pollution

On Friday, South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy notified Eskom of the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to pursue criminal prosecution.

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Eskom could face fines of up to R5-million under South Africa’s air quality legislation for supplying blatantly false and misleading information about its toxic pollution at the Kendal coal-fired power station to authorities.

On 28th January 2021, the state-owned energy utility will appear in the Emalahleni regional court on four counts of environmental transgressions.

On Friday 27th November, South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy notified Eskom of the decision by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to pursue criminal prosecution.

The four counts, according to the department, are related to the emission of air pollutants at concentrations exceeding emission limits set in Kendal’s atmospheric emission licence (AEL); failure to comply with the conditions and/or the requirements of the AEL; committing an act likely to cause significant pollution of the environment, and supplying false and/or misleading information to an air quality officer.

Albi Modise, the Chief Director of Communications at the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, says the “criminal investigation as well as the compliance notice, read with the minister’s objection decision, is based on the findings of previous site inspections” undertaken at Kendal, which is one of the country’s biggest power stations.

Read also: Electricity blackout to linger till Thursday in SA – Eskom

This is the first criminal investigation where the National Prosecuting Authority has decided to pursue a prosecution for a breach of air quality legislation by Eskom.

Business management consultancy EE Business Intelligence reported this week on the findings of an internal investigation compiled by Eskom’s audit and forensic team into Kendal’s air quality compliance and reporting.

This was instituted by the power utility’s chief executive officer, Andre de Ruyter in May.

The internal investigation found that exceedances of particulate matter atmospheric emissions of up to 10 times the allowable limit of 100mg/Nm3 occurred consistently for extended periods over the past two years at Kendal and that this was having a significant impact on people and the environment.

Between April last year and 31 March this year, EE Business Intelligence reported that the investigation found continuous and almost daily particulate matter emission exceedances by all six generation units at Kendal power station of up to 13 times the statutory particulate matter emission limit.

Related: Eskom’s bid for bigger tariffs rejected by South African court

Modise says that Eskom’s internal report notwithstanding, the department had already instituted both criminal and administrative enforcement action based on evidence that the company was in noncompliance with environmental law.

“Furthermore, and on the face of it, the contents of this report seemingly support the charges, which Eskom is currently facing,” says Modise.

Energy analyst Chris Yelland, the managing director of EE Business Intelligence, believes Eskom itself will have to face the music.

“It’s interesting as to whether people will face these consequences in their personal capacity or in their capacity as employees of Eskom. I will imagine that Eskom may be subject to sanctions. Obviously, that’s a matter for the court to decide. Frankly, there are people who bear responsibility both at the power station and at Eskom Megawatt Park,” Yelland said.

“Eskom uses load-shedding as a threat: ‘If you shut us down because we’re in non-compliance, we could have load-shedding’. But [Minister] Creecy has avoided this through phased-in shutdowns of units at Kendal,” Yelland said.

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East Africa News

One Missing in Militant’s Attack on Kenyan Police Patrol

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Jihadist fundamentalist group, Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen, more commonly known as al-Shabaab, on Wednesday, attacked a police patrol base in Fafi, Garissa County of Kenya and injured a police officer.

Another police officer was also said to have gone missing.

The North-eastern Regional Commander, Rono Bunei, said the security officers were at the Amuma base when the heavily armed gunmen fired at them for about ten minutes before escaping.

Bunei said the station armoury was badly damaged in the attack, noting that the search for their missing colleague was ongoing while the injured one was stable at a local hospital.

According to him, an assessment done at the scene showed the attackers were armed with rocket-propelled grenades and they escaped as reinforcements approached there.

“We are determined to deal with this menace but we need support from locals. Such an attack cannot happen without their knowledge,’’ he said.

The regional police commander said no arrests have been made so far. More patrols have been sent to the area to search for the attackers, which are believed to have either crossed the border into Somalia or were still holed up along the border.

There have been several attacks staged by the militants in counties neighbouring Somalia in a series, amid efforts to contain the situation.

Five police officers were seriously wounded on Sunday when their vehicle ran over a set improvised explosive device in Rhamu, Mandera County, in the latest such incident.

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Entertainment

Temi Otedola Opens Up On How She Met Her Boyfriend, Mr Eazi

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Fashion blogger and billionaire daughter, Temi Otedola has revealed that her boyfriend, Mr. Eazi was rude to her the first time they met.


The 24-year-old actress revealed this on the first episode of their podcast ‘How Far’.


Sensational Nigerian singer, Eazi and Otedola had met when, Temi’s sister, DJ Cuppy, who is also the singer’s friend, invited him for one of her numerous events in London, United Kingdom.


“I met Temi in London. Her sister was playing at an event, somewhere in Knightbridge and she said, ‘oh come out come out, follow me to this event’. So I followed her to the event and there she was deejaying and all of a sudden it was just me and Temi sitting down and just watching her.”

He went on to add “she didn’t like say meet my sister, you know, she invited her sister, she invited me. And by the time her sister came, she was already playing, so her sister came to the table and it was me and her. So, obviously, you have to socialise, so I said, ‘Hi what’s up, my name is Mr Eazi'”.

Talking about their first date, Temi said she was only being nice to Mr Eazi.
“I did not know he was going to be there that night; me being someone who likes to be friendly to strangers, I was like ‘hey do you live in London? Can I get you a drink? what have you been up to?’ I was just on my usual cute let’s be nice, let’s meet people vibes and I was like this guy is an asshole; like why is he being so rude?”


Mr Eazi replied her saying, “I was trying to let you know that, hey I’m not interested; I’m just here to watch this person and not interested in moving to you.”


He also revealed that he texted her and she took her time to reply.


“I started texting Temi and she was replying to be honest but she was taking her time to reply. So I text her like 10am she will reply me at 12,” he said.

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