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Nicaragua seeks court order against Germany over support for Israel, urges aid reinstatement in Gaza

[Photo: Al Jazeera]

Azra Hoosen | ah@radioislam.co.za
10 April 2024 | 13:30 CAT
2 min read

Nicaragua accuses Germany of violating international conventions and is seeking the International Court of Justice (ICJ) intervention over aid to Israel and the United Nations Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) funding cuts.

Nicaragua has taken its case to the ICJ, alleging that Germany’s provision of military aid to Israel during the Gaza war violates the 1948 Genocide Convention and the 1949 Geneva Conventions. Additionally, Nicaragua has urged the ICJ to issue emergency measures compelling Berlin to cease funding to Israel and reinstate support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

In its filing, Nicaragua argued that Germany’s actions, including supplying military equipment and cutting support to UNRWA, exacerbated the suffering of civilians in Gaza and facilitated the commission of genocide.

Atilla Kisla, the International Justice Cluster Lead at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, shared insight on Nicaragua’s legal action against Western countries in an interview with Radio Islam.

Kisla believes Nicaragua’s recent action is a bold step, but it echoes a trend observed over the past few years where states from the global south are increasingly vocal about matters concerning international criminal justice and state responsibilities.

“Generally this move must be welcomed, at the same time, states usually have their own political agendas and foreign interests that makes these states like South Africa and Nicaragua also susceptible for the critic of their own conduct and human rights,” he said.

Germany firmly denies Nicaragua’s claims at the UN’s top court, stating it does not facilitate breaches of the Geneva Convention by supporting Israel in its deadly assault on Gaza.

“This is a very complex matter. Germany, in their submission, brought up three key elements on Tuesday regarding the jurisdiction of the court, stating there is no legal dispute; secondly, because Israel is not part of the proceeding, the court can’t make a decision on potential violations by Germany deriving from the complicity on arms export; and thirdly Germany stated there is no plausibility of potential violations of international law, and there is no knowledge or intent by supporting Israel with arms to commit any kind of violations,” Kisla explained.
It was reported that the court is anticipated to reach a preliminary decision on the provisional measures requested by Nicaragua within a matter of weeks.

“If the court will go through and issues provisional measures in terms of ordering Germany to stop armed exports to Israel, that is a big “if” but could be a massive landmark case that goes beyond the conflict in Gaza,” he said.

Kisla underscored the significance of such actions, stating that they serve as a strong signal aimed at exposing potential double standards in international criminal justice.

“This sends a message that states must be held responsible if there is a wrongful International act,” he said.

LISTEN to the full interview with Muallimah Annisa Essack and Atilla Kisla, the International Justice Cluster Lead at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, here.

 

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