Global Policy Forum

Kinshasa Reported to the UN for Not


Hirondelle News Agency
November 24, 2004

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was on Tuesday formally mentioned at the UN Security Council for its lack of cooperation in the arrest of people accused of taking part in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In a press statement published by the UN, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Hassan Bubacar Jallow from Gambia, told the Security Council that 14 indicted people were still at large and "the bulk of the fugitives continued to be based in the Democratic Republic of Congo".

Jallow and the president of the ICTR, Eric MíƒÂ¸se from Norway, were presenting their annual reports to the council. Jallow exhorted Member States "to live up to their legal obligations" and cooperate in accordance with the statutes of the tribunal. The prosecutor continued that despite the ICTR's efforts to have suspects arrested, only a former militia leader, Yusuf Munyakazi was arrested from the Congo this year. The first arrest from the DRC was Colonel Tharcisse Renzaho in 2002.

The press release continues that the USA representative, John Danforth , called upon the DRC and Kenya to arrest fugitives whom he said were inciting conflicts in the Great Lakes region.

Rwanda's Deputy Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga advised the ICTR to inform the Security Council on the level of cooperation of all member states, particularly the DRC. He said that it was regrettable that the prosecutor had drastically reduced the number of people being investigated, known as "Big fish", which was originally estimated at 300.

The Rwandan envoy regarded not pursuing certain individuals as "a mockery of justice". He claimed that according to the UN's own figures, only a quarter of all their original suspects will have been brought to court in 10 years. As part of the tribunal's exit strategy, all investigations will come to an end at the end of the year and uncompleted cases to be transferred to national jurisdictions, Rwanda included.

On the issue of transfer of trials, Jallow told the Security Council that discussions were going on with Rwanda and other states. He promised to file motions on the transfers at the beginning of 2005. Only judges have the powers to decide on the transfer of cases. "Apart from Rwanda, it was not proving easy to find States ready, able, and willing to take on cases for the prosecution from the Tribunal", the UN press release quoted Jallow as saying.

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