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Nicaragua Takes Germany, Canada, U.K., Netherlands to ICJ

International Court of Justice
. CC/ Dennis Jarvis

The Nicaraguan government has officially notified the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, that should they continue to sell weapons to Israel and to suspend their withdrawal of funding for the UN Relief and Welfare Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is responsible for feeding and providing for the people of Gaza, Nicaragua intends to file charges against them at the International Court of Justice for violating the Genocide Convention.

The government announced its action Feb. 1, in a press release titled Prevent and Stop the Genocide in Palestine. Given the scarce attention paid to Nicaragua’s bold and justified action, we publish here significant extracts from that release below:

“The Government of Reconciliation and National Unity informs the people of Nicaragua and the international community that it has notified the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada of its decision to hold them responsible under international law for gross and systematic violations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, international humanitarian law and customary law, including the law of occupation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, in particular the Gaza Strip.”

The release cites the Jan. 26 ICJ ruling that “that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible,” and argues:

“If genocide is plausibly occurring in the Gaza Strip in the judgment of the highest world Court, it cannot be otherwise in the judgment of the international community that is also dramatically aware of the same facts that led the Court to that conclusion.

“The obligation to prevent genocide arises and begins when there is a risk of it occurring; in fact, when it is plausible that it is occurring or might occur. This plausibility is now beyond doubt and dispute.

“In that sense, Nicaragua has urged the governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada to immediately halt the supply of arms, ammunitions, technology and/or components to Israel as it is plausible they might have been used to facilitate or commit violations of the Genocide Convention, including but not limited to acts of genocide, attempted genocide, complicity in genocide and conspiracy to commit genocide.

“Unfortunately, the provision of military weapons and other assistance capable of being used in the genocide taking place has not stopped or diminished since the genocidal attacks of Israel on the Gaza Strip began in October 2023, and in some cases has indeed increased. Nicaragua has reminded these governments that `a State’s obligation to prevent, and the corresponding duty to act, arise at the instant that the State learns of, or should normally have learned of, the existence of a serious risk that genocide will be committed’.

“Furthermore, Nicaragua has warned that the recent announcements by these governments on the suspension of the funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) further exposes that in the present scenario, the Governments of the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and Canada continue to disregard their obligations, and to actively facilitate violations of the rules of international law by Israel to the severe and immediate prejudice of the Palestinian people, particularly Gazans, and the international community as a whole. In particular, Nicaragua has underscored that this act contributes to the collective punishment of the Palestinians and to the apparent objective of forcing the Palestinian population to leave the Occupied Palestinian Territories, particularly Gaza, and preventing the exercise of their right to self-determination.

“Consequently, Nicaragua has given written notice to these governments that it will adopt all measures it considers appropriate in accordance with international law, including recourse to the International Court of Justice, to guarantee respect for these fundamental international texts and customary international law.”