Global Policy Forum

ICTR Finally Recognises 1994 Rwanda Genocide


By Felly Kimenyi

New Times
June 22, 2006

Eleven years after its establishment and four years to its closure, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has recognised that genocide happened in Rwanda in 1994. In a statement issued on June 16 the UN-backed tribunal legally recognises the genocide that took place in Rwanda between April 6 and July 17, 1994. This comes two years after the UN officially accepted its failure to stop the genocide, which claimed an estimated one million ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.

The Rwandan government has welcomed the Tanzania-based tribunal proclamation, but says it has been long overdue. Acting Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga said on Wednesday: "This is a very important ruling. It is a historic landmark and it also proves wrong revisionists of the genocide." He however observed that the court had made the proclamation rather late, saying that it ought to have done so several years ago as former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda had admitted his government had planned and perpetrated the genocide.

"This man told the same tribunal that he organised genocide in the country and he was sentenced for it. To me I think the fact that they had to get back in every other trial trying to prove that genocide took place was wastage of time and resources," Ngoga said by telephone.

According to legal pundits, this ruling by the tribunal's Appeals Chamber will minimise the requirement of expert witnesses in the remaining trials. Ngoga said the development could help accelerate the pace of proceedings, resulting in many cases getting heard and disposed of. The UN Security Council on June 14 unanimously extended the mandate of the ICTR's 11 permanent judges upon the tribunal's request. According to the statute governing the tribunal, the permanent judges have a four-year renewable term. Since its establishment in 1995, ICTR has completed a total of 28 cases, while 27 others are in progress.

More Information on International Justice
More Information on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
More Information on Rwanda


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.