From 20 to 22 September 2004, a delegation of senior Rwandan Government Officials led by Mr. Martin Ngoga, Deputy Prosecutor General, and a delegation of senior members of the ICTR Registry led by Mr. Lovemore Munlo, Deputy Registrar, held fruitful discussions on practical modalities which prepared the ground for an agreement between the Government of Rwanda and the United Nations regarding enforcement of ICTR sentences in Rwanda.
Pursuant to Article 26 of the Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) adopted by Security Council Resolution 955 of 8 November 1994, ICTR sentences shall be served in Rwanda or in any of the States on a list of States which have indicated to the Security Council their willingness to accept ICTR convicted persons. The ICTR and the Government of Rwanda began discussions in May 2004 on possible enforcement of ICTR sentences in Rwanda.
The discussions in Arusha have enabled the two delegations to further review practical steps that the Tribunal has already taken in this process by way of prior consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York as well as the ICTR proposal regarding alterations to be made to the newly built MPANGA prison facility, which was identified as the facility for the enforcement of ICTR sentences in Rwanda.
Both delegations examined a model of the standard provisions of Agreement on Enforcement of ICTR Sentences, which the United Nations has in the past signed with African countries. The standard provisions outline the terms and conditions under which a formal agreement could later be signed following clearance and approval of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in New York in conformity with the UN standard practice.
During the visit, the Rwandan delegation paid a courtesy call on the ICTR President and held meeting with the ICTR Prosecutor. The Rwandan delegation was received in audience by the Registrar. The Head of Rwandan prisons also visited the detention facility operated by the ICTR.
Through a renewed spirit of cooperation between the Government of Rwanda and the ICTR, the Arusha discussions represent an important milestone in their relationship. The Rwandan delegation reiterates its sincere hope that the conclusion of an agreement on enforcement of ICTR sentences in Rwanda will go a long way in contributing to unity and national reconciliation.