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Ex-Justice Minister reappointed Chief Prosecutor of ICTR

Sep 19, 2011, 1:43 PM

The United Nations Security Council has again re-appointed Gambian-born Hassan Bubacar Jallow as the Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR).

In its Resolution SG/10 382 adopted unanimously at its 6612th meeting on 14th September, the Security Council re-appointed Prosecutor Jallow for a further three-year term, up to 31st December 2014.

This, according to a statement from the Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, will be Jallow’s third term as Prosecutor of the Tribunal. He was first appointed in 2003, and then reappointed in 2007 by the Security Council.

A former attorney and justice minister in the first republic, Jallow is among others charged with the responsibility of investigating and prosecuting those persons who committed serious violations of international humanitarian law during the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

In its latest Resolution, the Security Council urged the Tribunal to take all possible measures to complete all its remaining work, no later than 31st December 2014.

The Tribunal was established by the UN Security Council in 1994 with the mandate to prosecute those who played a leading role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994, which led to the deaths of more than a million people in just a three months period – April to June of 1994.

The Tribunal prosecutes persons for the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Since its establishment, the Tribunal has indicted some 93 persons for such crimes. The indictees include members of the former government, senior military officers, senior officials of the former ruling party, the MRND and its militia referred to as the “Interahamwe”, civil servants, journalists, religious leaders, etc.

It has arrested 84 of these indictees in operations involving some forty countries.

There are 9 accused fugitives whose search is ongoing. They include top level persons such as Felicien Kabuga (a major Rwandan businessman), Augustin Bizimana (former Minister of Defence) and Protais Mpiranya (former Commander of the Presidential Guard).

The trials of most of the detainees have been concluded with judgments pending in respect of six accused, and trials currently ongoing in respect of three other accused persons.

Of those already tried, 8 have been acquitted and the remainder convicted of genocide and related offences. Most of the prisoners are serving their sentences in Mali and Benin.

The Tribunal is seeking to transfer much of its remaining workload to Rwanda and other countries that are able and willing to prosecute such cases.

Speaking to the press in Arusha, Tanzania, where the Tribunal is located, Justice Jallow thanked the Security Council and the UN Secretary General for the honour bestowed on him. He expressed his commitment and his confidence in concluding the work of the Tribunal well before the end of 2014.

Justice Hassan B. Jallow who is the fourth Chief Prosecutor of the Tribunal was preceded by Justice Richard Goldstone (South Africa), Louise Arbor (Canada) and Carla Del Ponte (Switzerland).