The Dominican Republic – Haiti Divide

Author: Regina Paulose

Most sad chapters in history involve a mix of bad (or an absence of) law and a tyrant. In 1930, Rafeal Leonidas Trujillo became the dictator of the Dominican Republic (DR). In October 1937, he ordered the massacre of thousands of Haitians (estimates range between 9,000 to 30,000 civilians). Dominican soldiers were ordered to carry a sprig of parsley and ask people to say the word “parsley” in Spanish. Those who could not pronounce the word paid the price by being hacked to death with machetes or through other violent methods. The U.S. Ambassador to the DR labeled it “a systematic campaign of extermination.” Bodies of Haitian’s were dumped in what became known as “Massacre River.” These events became known as the “Parsley Massacres” or “El Corte.” Continue reading

The Right to Belong: Dealing With Statelessness in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author:  Michael Addaney

‘Statelessness is a profound violation of an individual’s human rights. It would be deeply unethical to perpetuate the pain it causes when solutions are so clearly within reach.’

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

In recent years statelessness has become a major concern in various contexts and levels particularly within Africa. Often, statelessness is associated with displacement through armed conflicts as well natural disasters and hence overlaps with the flow of refugees and Internally Displaced Person (IDPs). With Africa’s colonial heritage, critical issues arose from the succession of states and the determination of national status within emerging and transitional states. Moreover, most African states have different approaches in determining nationality and civil status which inadvertently conflict with the legal and policy frameworks of other states. All the above situations create statelessness. Continue reading

The Rohingya Revisited

Written by:  Regina Paulose

Nearly a year ago, I wrote an article outlining reasons why the ICC should take action in Myanmar (also known as Burma) in order to stop continued religious and ethnic violence towards the Rohingya. During 2013, not surprisingly, the anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar has continued.[1] In fact, violence has spread beyond targeting the Rohingya and against the larger Muslim population.[2] Although the majority displaced from the violence are still the Rohingya. Continue reading