Apr 15, 2015, 12:43 PM
Reports from New York and Arusha have confirmed that Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow has concluded his mission as Chief Prosecutor of the UN Rwanda Tribunal (ICTR) and of the UN Mechanism (MICT).
Justice Jallow confirmed to this paper the completion of his mandate as prosecutor.
Justice Jallow was appointed by the UN Security Council in 2003 to take over from Carla Del Ponte as chief prosecutor of the Rwanda Tribunal.
As the prosecutor, Justice Jallow was responsible for the investigation and prosecution of those who played a leading role in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
That tragedy saw the murder of more than one million innocent civilians - men and women, boys and girls - who were mostly Tutsis over a period of just 100 days, making it the worst humanitarian tragedy of modern times.
Justice Jallow served three consecutive terms of four years each as chief prosecutor of the Rwanda tribunal, until its closure on 31st December 2015.
During the lifetime of the ICTR 93 leaders were indicted, including the former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda now serving a life sentence in Mali, members of the cabinet, heads of the military and security services, heads of the then ruling MRND Political Party, senior administrators, members of the Interahamwe, the ruling party militia, and civilians such as media people and clergy, for their role in the genocide.
Of those indicted, all except 8 have been arrested and prosecuted for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Fourteen of those prosecuted were acquitted.
The convicts are serving life and other lengthy sentences in Mali, Benin and other countries.
With the imminent closure of the ICTR and its sister Yugoslav Tribunal, the ICTR, the UN Security Council created the mechanism and appointed Justice Jallow in March 2012 as its first prosecutor with a 4-year mandate concurrent with that of the ICTR ending on 29 February 2016, to carry out the remaining residual functions of the two tribunals.
Justice Jallow has been succeeded by Mr Serge Brammertz, a Belgian national, currently the prosecutor of the ICTR.
On the occasion of the conclusion of his mandate on 29th February, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the UN Secretary General, commended Justice Jallow for his “admirable service” to both tribunals, which he said have “benefitted immeasurably” from Justice Jallow’s “wisdom, remarkable prosecutorial and diplomatic skills and deep commitment to putting an end to the culture of impunity.
The secretary general described Justice Jallow as a man with an “irreproachable reputation whose work will inspire and guide current and future prosecutors for many years to come”.
Speaking from Arusha to this paper, Justice Jallow said he was pleased that the ICTR had been able to bring to account many figures who had fled Rwanda, and were thus beyond the reach of that country’s legal system; it had contributed significantly to the development of international criminal law, particularly with its jurisprudence on the link between genocide and acts of sexual violence, of rape as a tool of genocide; it had impacted positively on Rwanda itself helping to restore its legal system to the point of winning international recognition for its competence and fairness.
The office of the prosecutor had also in the final years of the ICTR mandate devoted considerable time to identifying, documenting and disseminating best practices in the investigation and prosecution of international crimes for the guidance of national and international courts.
Some work still remained to be done, Justice Jallow said, particularly on the need for states to cooperate with the mechanism to ensure the arrest and trial of the 8 remaining fugitives, amongst whom are Felicien Kabuga, a wealthy Rwandan businessman, whose wealth was used in the execution of the Genocide, Protais Mpiranya, the former Commander of the presidential guards, whose troops started the killings, and Augustin Bizimana, the former Minister of Defence, but much also had been accomplished to bring justice to the victims and survivors .
Justice Jallow said he was thankful to Allah (SWT) for having given him the chance to be part of this great enterprise of justice, and for sustaining him in it to the end.
He was now looking forward to coming home and devoting his time to the great Islamic heritage left behind by his late father, Sheikh Alhaji Bubacar Zaidi Jallow RA.