The case of North Manconia
1. The Republic of Manconia is a multi-ethnic State with a population of 10 million. A former colony of the United States of Merseystan (USM), it achieved independence on 5 July 1965, and joined the United Nations on 1 February 1966.
2. The two largest ethnic groups in the Republic of Manconia (RoM) are the Blues and the Reds, comprising 62% and 28% of the population respectively. Traditionally, the Blues are concentrated in the tropical south of the country, while the Reds comprise the majority of persons living in the more arid north. The largest city is Blueburg, located in the south.
3. Since independence, there has been tension between the two main ethnic groups in the RoM. The Blue-dominated "Manconia Peoples’ Party” won successive elections from 1965 onwards, and Reds were increasingly marginalized. Resentment grew in the north of the country, particularly in the city of Redville. Sporadic violence against government forces occurred for a number of years, and in 1992 an armed group, the Keanos of North Manconia, was established to coordinate the insurrectionary movement.
4. On 5 July 1999, a Red-dominated group styling itself the Provisional Government of North Manconia makes a Declaration of Independence outside city hall in Redville. There is minimal reaction from the international community, but the government in Blueburg is furious. Sporadic armed clashes occur between the Keanos and units of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Manconia (AFRM). Alarmed, USM brings the matter before the UN Security Council.
5. Following almost a decade of tense negotiation, agreement is reached that the Republic of North Manconia (constituting 35% of the overall territory and 34% of the overall population) will secede from the Republic of Manconia, and become the world’s 193rd State on 5 July 2008. A United Nations Mission to Oversee the Peaceful Transition in Manconia (UNMOM) is deployed, and a peaceful secession is achieved. The Republic of North Manconia (RNM) joins the United Nations on 7 December 2008.
6. Initial optimism at the birth of the new State is not shared by all. Blues comprise 20% of the population of the new Republic and many fear reprisals at the hands of the Red-dominated new regime. Taking advantage of generous citizenship laws for nationals of former colonies, approximately 50,000 Blues resettle to the USM.
7. Problems swiftly emerge in RNM. Years of neglect from Blueburg have left the north with a badly underdeveloped infrastructure, and earlier pledges of donor support are slow to materialize. The beleaguered first President of the RNM, Michael Glazer, blames the regime in Blueburg for creating the current difficulties. De-militarisation of the thousands of former Keanos begins, but with high unemployment many refuse to hand over their weapons, and turn to crime.
8. By mid-2009, President Glazer is increasingly desperate: confronted by protests and a spiraling crime-rate, the huge support he had received from the Red population has evaporated as rivals appear from within the quickly-fracturing community. Immediately after the first anniversary of the new Republic, the President visits the neighbouring state of Orangestan to seek financial assistance to develop the RNM. Orangestan is a developing country which has recently seen increased prosperity following the discovery of untapped oil reserves off its coast. The President of Orangestan is feeling magnanimous (and is conscious of significant groups of both Blues and Reds among his own electorate), and pledges $2 billion in development aid for RNM.
9. On 9 July 2009, the evening before President Glazer’s scheduled return to RNM, a celebratory dinner is held in his honour in Orangestan, organised by representatives of the local Blue community and attended by some Blues from RNM. Shortly after the dinner, President Glazer falls ill, and is pronounced dead early the following morning. The cause of his brief illness and death remains unclear as due to his religious convictions he is buried without an autopsy. The government of Orangestan confirms that President Glazer attended the Blues dinner the evening before he died, but states that it will release no further details "pending a thorough investigation”.
10. Recriminations and accusations begin almost immediately, and in RNM the Blue community is accused of having poisoned President Glazer. The government of RoM quickly and vigorously denies any involvement, but Blues living in RNM are targeted. With the Vice-President of RNM unable to assert his authority, former leaders of the Keanos become increasingly influential, directing attacks against Blues living in RNM. By 18 July 2009, scores of unarmed Blues around Redville have been killed and hundreds beaten.
11. By 25 July, the attacks have spread across the country, as leading Keanos and their sympathizers take to the airwaves to incite the Red population to take revenge on any and all Blues around them. Increasingly, the Keanos leaders order that the Blues be "eliminated”. There are small pockets of resistance outside of Redville, but the vast majority of Blues targeted by the Keanos are unarmed civilians.
12. Within the city of Redville, radio stations are proving a particularly effective means of directing attacks against the Blues. On one particular radio station, Fergietime FM, a leading DJ called Gerry Neville (known as "DJ Red Nev”), enthusiastically orders his listeners to "squash the Blues”. On numerous occasions between 28 July and 15 August 2009, he relays information regarding precise addresses where Blues are living or working, and orders that they be "fried”, "roasted”, "squashed”, and "eliminated”.
13. On 30 July, the Security Council adopts Resolution 3778 (2009), wherein the Council:
Deeply concerned that the situation in the Republic of North Manconia, which has resulted in the death of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, the internal displacement of a significant part of the RNM population, and the exodus of thousands of refugees to neighbouring countries, constitutes a humanitarian crisis of enormous proportions,
Recalling in this context that the killing of members of an ethnic group with the intention of destroying such a group, in whole or in part, constitutes a crime punishable under international law,
Strongly urging all parties to cease fortwith any incitement, especially through the mass media, to violence or ethnic hatred,
Determining that the situation in RNM constitutes a threat to peace and security in the region,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Demands that all parties to the conflict immediately cease hostilities, agree to a cease-fire, and bring to an end the mindless violence and carnage engulfing the Republic of North Manconia;
2. Decides that all States shall prevent the sale or supply to RNM from their territories or using their flag vessels or aircraft of arms and related material of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment […];
3. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
14. Over the next week, intense negotiations take place at the UN Security Council regarding the deployment of peacekeepers to RNM. Despite persistent lobbying from human rights groups, the threat of a veto by two permanent members of the Council means that agreement cannot be reached.
15. On 5 August 2009, with the violence continuing, the Security Council adopts resolution 3782 (2009), as follows:
Noting with the gravest concern the reports indicating that acts of genocide have occurred in the Republic of North Manconia and recalling in this context that genocide constitutes a crime punishable under international law,
Reiterating its strong condemnation of the ongoing violence in RNM and, in particular, the systematic killing of thousands of civilians,
Expressing its outrage that the perpetrators of these killings have been able to operate and continue operating within RNM with impunity,
Recalling that all persons who commit, authorise or incite the commission of genocide are individually responsible for these violations and should be brought to justice,
Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
1. Demands that all parties to the conflict cease hostilities, agree to a cease-fire and immediately take steps to bring an end to systematic killings in areas under their control;
2. Demands further that all parties cease forthwith any incitement, especially through the mass media, to violence or ethnic hatred.
16. By 15 August 2009, the systematic attacks on Blues within RNM have reduced their population within that country from 600,000 to 70,000 people: the number of deaths is estimated at 320,000 people, while over 200,000 Blues fled the country. Of those who fled, 120,000 crossed to the RoM where refugee camps have been constructed; those living close to the border with Orangestan (approximately 50,000) sought asylum there; and those who could afford to purchase plane tickets sought refuge in USM.
17. Amidst this mass movement of persons, the Blueburg government has sent AFRM units across the border to protect those Blues still in RNM. The AFRM has initial success in pushing back the rampaging Keano forces, but meets stronger resistance when advancing on Redville. The presence of the AFRM, and the sharp reduction in the number of Blues still in the country, leads to a significant drop in attacks across much of RNM. In and around Redville, however, efforts to ‘eliminate’ the Blues continue.
18. By 25 August 2009, the attacks on Blues have ceased. In the face of economic sanctions from the UN and the EU, the ruling Red regime agrees to a cease-fire and peace talks, mediated by the UN Secretary-General. Representatives of each group meet for peace-talks in nearby Orangestan, starting on 1 September 2009.
19. On 20 October 2009, under the Agreement on National Reconciliation of the Republic of Northern Manconia a government of national unity is formed. The government consists primarily of Reds but includes some leading members of the Blue community, who have been convinced to return to the country, largely due to a concession by the Red majority that a limited number of AFRM soldiers will remain on RNM territory for a period of six months, to guarantee the cease-fire. For its part, the Red side resisted calls for a UN criminal tribunal to prosecute persons accused of involvement in the genocide, agreeing instead to establish a hybrid UN-RNM Tribunal.
20. In December 2009, in a controversial move, Gerry Neville is appointed as the RNM government’s Minister for Culture, Media and Sport.
21. Throughout the crisis in RNM, the Blue groups living in USM (both the residents and the newly-arrived refugees from RNM) had called on the USM government to intervene militarily in RNM. While it frequently issued "Expressions of Real Concern”, and lobbied for robust action by the UN Security Council, the USM government remained unwilling to send troops itself for what was perceived to be a risky action so close to the USM general election, scheduled for December 2009. In the aftermath of that election, a new government takes office in February 2010 and resolves to take action regarding the crimes which had been committed in RNM in July-August 2009.
22. USM has been a party to the 1948 Genocide Convention since 1968. USM law includes the 2002 Genocide Act. Relevant provisions of this legislation include the following:
For the purposes of this Act, "genocide” has the same meaning as it has in Article II of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
An act of genocide, wherever committed, constitutes an offence against the law of the United States of Merseystan.
Direct and public incitement to commit genocide shall be punishable in the same manner as genocide.
The provisions of this Act shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or Parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Act, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.
Persons convicted of an offence under this Act shall be liable for a term of imprisonment for life without eligibility for parole until the person has served 25 years of the sentence.
23. On the basis of this legislation, and in the face of increasing pressure from the Blue groups, USM prosecutors open (domestic) criminal proceedings against Mr. Neville for the crime of inciting genocide in and around the city of Redville between 28 July and 15 August 2009. On 10 May 2010, USM requests RNM to extradite Mr. Neville for the purposes of this prosecution. On 20 July 2010, RNM refuses the request for extradition.
24. By December 2010, no progress had been made with the establishment of the hybrid UN-RNM Criminal Tribunal. Disagreements persist regarding: the ratio of national to international judges on each of the Court’s Chambers, the method of appointing national judges, and the applicable law. No list of suspects has been prepared, nor have any serious investigations been initiated.
25. Over the course of 2010, representatives of the Blue community in RNM, with the assistance of local and international NGOs, initiate civil proceedings in RNM against various individuals accused of involvement in the genocide. A test case, brought against Mr. Neville and other Red members of the current government, is struck out on 15 January 2011 on the basis that under RNM law Ministers of State have immunity from civil action.
26. In May 2011, Mr. Neville is invited, in his ministerial capacity, to attend the annual Regional Culture Ministers’ meeting in Orangestan. The meeting is scheduled to take place between 12-14 May. Learning of the upcoming event, the government of USM contacts the government of Orangestan through back-channels to explore the possibility of the latter arresting Mr. Neville and extraditing him to USM. The President of Orangestan, conscious of the delicate ethnic balance in his own country, is reluctant to get involved. Citing the absence of an Orangestan-USM extradition treaty, and the need to preserve international comity, Orangestan indicates that it will not arrest Mr. Neville.
27. On 12 May 2011, a Special Forces unit from the USM army covertly enters Orangestan, accesses the ministerial conference venue, and kidnaps Mr. Neville. They smuggle him out of the country overnight and hand him over to police authorities in USM. Two days later he is brought before a local magistrate in Shanklyville, capital of USM. Bail is refused.
28. The government of RNM is outraged. It registers strong protests with USM directly, and with the UN Security Council. RNM demands the immediate release of Mr. Neville from detention in USM, and his return to Redville. Orangestan does not register any kind of complaint, officially or otherwise.
29. With the assistance of the local RNM consulate, Mr. Neville objects to being tried, citing USM’s lack of jurisdiction over his alleged crimes, his immunity as a serving minister, and the manner in which he was brought before the Court. His case is appealed up to the USM Supreme Court. On 3 April 2012, the Supreme Court dismisses all three objections of Mr. Neville. His case is sent back down to the criminal court of first instance, and his trial is scheduled to start on 5 May 2012.
30. On 3 March 2012, RNM institutes proceedings against USM before the International Court of Justice in respect of alleged violations of the rights of its national, Mr. Neville, requesting the Court to adjudge and declare that:
a) USM lacks jurisdiction over the alleged acts of Mr. Neville, which were committed outside USM territory and did not involve USM nationals;
b) USM has violated the immunity from criminal jurisdiction of Mr. Neville, a serving Minister in the RNM government;
c) The Courts of USM lack jurisdiction over Mr. Neville because he was illegally abducted from a foreign State.
31. Both Parties have made declarations under article 36(2) of the Court’s Statute, accepting the Court’s jurisdiction with no relevant reservations. Neither the Republic of Manconia nor the Republic of North Manconia are parties to the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.