During his mission to Rwanda, from 13 to 16 March 2006, the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr. Adama Dieng, held meetings with Rwandan government officials, representatives of United Nations agencies in Rwanda and the diplomatic corps accredited to Rwanda.
On15 March, the Registrar briefed the diplomatic corps and heads of missions accredited to Rwanda at the ICTR office in Kigali. He informed the diplomats about the current status of the Tribunal’s work and its completion strategy. Mr. Dieng discussed the ongoing trials, the issue of the transfer of cases to national jurisdictions, including Rwanda, and cooperation between the Government of Rwanda and the Tribunal.
The Registrar urged the International community to provide assistance to the Government of Rwanda in efforts to strengthen the country’s judicial capacity. He further requested the diplomats to extend more support to the Tribunal’s outreach program, which is one of the Tribunal’s public information channels. He said that the ICTR will not achieve its mission if the people of Rwanda do not understand what was taking place at the Tribunal in Arusha. The ICTR outreach and information programs are part of the Tribunal’s contribution to the ongoing process of reconciliation in Rwanda and the promotion of peace in the Great Lakes Region.
Mr. Dieng told the diplomats that some of the present ICTR detainees and some indictees still at large will not be tried in Arusha before the end of 2008. Some of them will be transferred to national jurisdictions. He pointed out that the ICTR Prosecutor’s Office has already transferred 30 case files to Rwanda.
The Registrar also briefed the Rwandan Minister of Justice, Mrs. Edda Mukabagwiza, on the latest developments at the Tribunal. They discussed common interests including cooperation between the Rwandan Government and the ICTR, the Tribunal’s support for capacity building of the Rwandan justice system and the ongoing process of transferring case files to Rwanda. Registrar Dieng told the Minister that the Tribunal would continue implementing various projects aimed at strengthening the country’s judicial sector.
In a meeting with the Rwandan Prosecutor General, Mr. Jean de Dieu Mucyo, the Registrar handed over legal documents including all the judgments rendered by the Tribunal’s trial chambers and the appeals cases that were translated into Kinyarwanda from French and English. He also gave Prosecutor Mucyo documents about the persons indicted by the Tribunal since its establishment.
During his meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, Dr. Charles Muligande, the Registrar stressed the need for strengthening the existing good cooperation between the ICTR and the Government of Rwanda.
Before ending his mission to Rwanda, the Registrar also met with the Tribunal’s staff members in Kigali.