Episode 31 – Jihad and Gender in Mali

Georgiana and Thijs explain what we have been missing in the Al Hassan case

The second trial of a Malian jihadist is underway at the International Criminal Court. Al Hassan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed Ag Mahmoud faces charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for what happened in Timbuktu during 2012 to 2013 when Islamic fundamentalists took it over.

Already the court has looked at the destruction of cultural heritage – the city was an ancient centre of Islamic scholarship with extraordinary mosques, shrines of ancient Islamic saints and libraries.

But our two guests told us how much more there is to the al Hassan trial. Women’s rights expert Georgiana Epuré, who joined in her personal capacity, explained about the gender aspects of the charges and how the court will have to rule for the first time on gender-related crimes.

Thijs Bouwknegt, long term trial monitor and historian at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust & Genocide Studies unpeeled the prosecution and defence strategies so far.

And there were some juicy reading recommendations:

Georgiana was reading Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond. Thijs meanwhile was getting into the heart of darkness by reading up on the Belgian Congo and recommended Daniel Vangroenewhege’s Rood Rubber, which is not in English but here’s a link to some of his research which is. And he sang the praises of the amazing Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste.

This podcast has been produced as part of a partnership with JusticeInfo.net, an independent website in French and English covering justice initiatives in countries dealing with serious violence. It is a media outlet of Fondation Hirondelle, based in Lausanne, Switzerland.