Tags: Trump Administration | war | crimes | state department | Rex Tillerson

Report: Tillerson's State Dept Closing War Crimes Division

Image: Report: Tillerson's State Dept Closing War Crimes Division
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (AP Photo/Tripplaar Kristoffer)

Monday, 17 Jul 2017 10:37 PM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is shuttering the department's two-decades-old war crimes office, Foreign Policy reported Monday.

The Office of Global Criminal Justice advises the Secretary of State on issues surrounding war crimes and genocide and helps form policy to address those atrocities.

According to FP, Tillerson's office has told Todd Buchwald, the special coordinator of the OGCJ, he is being reassigned to the State Department's office of legal affairs.

Remaining staff might be shifted to the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, FP reported.

According to FP, the closure decision comes at a time when Tillerson has been trying to reorganize the department to concentrate on pursuing economic opportunities for American businesses and strengthening U.S. military prowess.

"There's no mistaking it — this move will be a huge loss for accountability," Richard Dicker, the director of Human Rights Watch's international justice program, told FP.

A State Department spokesman told FP in a statement it is "currently undergoing an employee-led redesign initiative, and there are no predetermined outcomes. We are not going to get ahead of any outcomes."

An unnamed senior State Department official told FP occasionally the idea of closing an office closing will be floated, "just to see what comes back."

The news comes as the department has seen a host of key officials leave in recent weeks – and amid criticism of proposed deep budget cuts, The Hill reported.

Tillerson has pushed back at the critics, however, saying the department is simply "leaning in," The Hill reported.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is shuttering the department's two-decades-old war crimes office, Foreign Policy reported Monday.
war, crimes, state department, Rex Tillerson
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2017-37-17
Monday, 17 Jul 2017 10:37 PM
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