International brief ~ UN peacekeepers found guilty of sexual abuse in Burundi

[JURIST] Leading Tuesday's international brief, UN spokesman Penangnini Toure has announced that two UN peacekeepers serving in the UN Mission to Burundi [official website] peacekeeping force were found guilty of breaking the UN's new, strict code governing sexual conduct of peacekeeping personnel while on assignment. Toure said that the two men were found guilty of paying for sex with individuals under the age of 18, automatically making them minors and thus violating the UN peacekeeping sexual conduct code. Toure said both men had been repatriated to their home country, but refused to specify which country the men had originated from. Earlier, unconformed reports had identified the men as Ethiopian. The UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations [official website] has been under close scrutiny since six peacekeepers were found guilty of sexually abusing underage girls [JURIST report] in the Congo earlier this year. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Nations [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.

In other international legal news ...

  • The Ugandan Parliament [government website] has voted to withdraw a provision from the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2005 that would have given the Ugandan government [official website] the power to create special courts for terrorist offenses. Ugandan Minister of State for Justice and Constitution Affairs, Adolf Mwesige argued that terrorism was an ongoing problem that required special courts to deal with offenders, especially in light of Uganda's recent passage of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs [official website] recommended to Parliament that the clause be removed, as Uganda's current laws were sufficient to deal with any attempted terrorism in the nation. Uganda's Monitor has local coverage.

  • Indonesian State Secretary Yusril Ihza Mahendra has announced that the Indonesian government [official website] would not amend Law No. 31/2002 on the establishment of political parties in order to meet the terms of the recent peace agreement [JURIST report] between the Free Aceh Movement [Wikipedia profile] and the government. Instead, the Law on Special Autonomy for Aceh has been presented as capable of being amended to allow for the creation of a local political party, one of the key demands of the rebel party. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Indonesia [JURIST news archive]. The Jakarta Post has local coverage.

  • Nepalese Minister of General Administration Krishna Lal Thakali, appointed by King Gyanedra [official profile] following the abolition of the elected Nepalese government [JURIST report] on Febraury 1, has announced that Nepal's Civil Service Act was amended at the Gyanedra's direction to disallow the formation of unions by civil servants in Nepal. Thakali said that certain key unions would be granted special privilege to operate, but did not specify which unions would receive royal privilege. Union leaders and civil rights groups have roundly condemned the amendment as an unfair restriction on the rights of Nepalese citizens working for the government, and asserted that the decision ran afoul of Nepal Supreme Court [official website] decisions and treaties ascribed to by Nepal through the United Nations and the International Labour Organization [official website. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Nepal [JURIST news archive]. Nepal News has local coverage.


 

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