ICC prosecutor seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Karim AA Khan announced May 20 that he has applied for arrest warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, as well as senior Hamas leaders, for crimes committed during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The officials face various charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute.

Podcast: the betrayal of Darfur —again

In Episode 226 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg discusses the alarmingly under-reported humanitarian disaster in Darfur. A generation later, the genocide is back on—but this time there is no global campaign to stop it. Even last time around, elements of the campist pseudo-left portrayed the "Save Darfur" movement as a Zionist conspiracy, because atrocities by an Arab-led regime happened to be useful to Israel in the "whataboutery" game. Alas, such cynical voices are at it again. Yet another example of how a global divide-and-rule racket is the essence of the state system.

War crimes seen in Mali conflict

An Islamist armed group linked to al-Qaeda killed at least 32 civilians, including three children, and set fire to over 350 homes in central Mali in January, forcing about 2,000 villagers to flee, Human Rights Watch reported May 8. Earlier in January, a Bambara ethnic militia formed to oppose the jihadists killed at least 13 civilians, including two children, abducted 24 other civilians, and looted property and livestock in central Mali. These attacks violate international law and are apparent war crimes.

Darfur: 'ethnic cleansing' targets Massalit

Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported May 9 that "ethnic cleansing" and crimes against humanity are being committed in El Geneina, capital of Sudan's West Darfur state. The crimes are described as "among the worst atrocities against civilians so far in the current conflict in Sudan." The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) are responsible for the widespread attacks and massacres that have been carried out against the Massalit ethnic minority. The wave of attacks commenced in April 2023, with the start of the conflict. Since then, it is estimated that between 10,000 and 15,000 people have been killed in El Geneina. HRW called for these killings to be investigated as genocide by the International Criminal Court.

HRW: Afghanistan Hazara community at risk

Inadequate protections by the de facto Taliban authorities in Afghanistan continue to leave the Shi'ite Hazara community at risk of being targeted in atrocities that may amount to war crimes, according a report released May 3 by Human Rights Watch. The report emphasized the threat from the self-declared Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), which continues to carry out attacks targeting Hazara mosques, schools and neighborhoods. In the most recent such attack, on April 29, a presumed ISKP militant opened fire on worshippers at a Hazara mosque at Guzara, in western Herat province, killing six, including a child.

Hamas accepts ceasefire; Israel strikes Rafah

Hamas announced on May 6 that its leaders have told Egyptian and Qatari mediators that they accepted the most recent Gaza ceasefire proposal. Israel's war cabinet responded by voting to continue the planned military operation in Rafah, and the IDF carried out new air-strikes on targets in the southern Gaza city. The strikes came as Palestinians in Gaza were celebrating Hamas' announcement, and Israeli protestors in several cities joined families of the hostages to demand that Israel accept the deal.

Gaza aid groups brace for Israeli invasion of Rafah

As Israel continues to threaten a full-scale assault on Rafah in southern Gaza, local, regional, and international aid groups have been scrambling to try to prepare to respond to the catastrophic humanitarian impact a ground invasion is expected to have. Facing a severe scarcity of supplies and resources, people involved in the effort say whatever preparations they are able to make will undoubtedly fall far short of the needs.

Hundreds of civilians massacred in Burkina Faso

Security forces in junta-led Burkina Faso summarily executed more than 223 civilians, including at least 56 children, in the northern villages of Nondin and Soro in February, according to a Human Rights Watch report. The report says the massacres are among the worst atrocities carried out during the country's nearly 10-year internal conflict, and may amount to crimes against humanity. Survivors said they were accused by the military of being complicit with jihadists—which is a common and unfair charge that soldiers make against civilians living in areas where militants operate. Abuses like this have increased significantly under the current junta. 

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