New appointments at the UN tribunals welcome, says Ngoga
War crimes:Mandates to wind up international courts
The Prosecutor General of Rwanda, Martin Ngoga, yesterday welcomed the UN Security Council’s appointment of experienced senior officials to help finish work of war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia when their mandates expire.
The Security Council on Wednesday appointed Hassan Bubacar Jallow, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), as prosecutor for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals. US judge, Theodor Meron, was appointed president of the mechanism for a term of four years with effect from March 1. Jallow will continue to serve as ICTR prosecutor.
The Residual Mechanism was set up in 2010 by the Security Council to complete the remaining tasks of the UN war crimes tribunals once their mandates expire in 2014.
Ngoga stressed that Rwanda expects that the effort to track genocide fugitives will receive a shot in the arm because of the increased manpower at the tribunals.
“I think it was wise that people who have been in charge of the ICTR and ICTY are the ones who will manage the residual mechanism,” he said.
“They will carry forward the experience they already have on this subject. We can only hope that tracking efforts of fugitives still at large will be expedited now that these officials will devote all their time just on that undertaking”.
“The mechanism is significant but by its nature, it should bring a difference, and not last too long.”
A UN statement says the decision to appoint Judge Meron was made in consultation with the President of the Security Council and the judges of the mechanism.
He will continue serving as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) while working as the President of the mechanism.
“The Secretary-General believes that the mechanism will benefit immensely from their considerable experience, outstanding leadership skills, and profound commitment to international criminal justice,” reads part of a statement issued by Ki-moon’s spokesperson.
Janvier Forongo, the Executive Secretary of IBUKA, believes this is a positive move on the Security Council’s part.
“On our side, we are happy. Jallow is familiar with the ICTR and the dossiers. Had they appointed someone new, it would have delayed things because a new person would have needed to take time to familiarize themselves with the issues,” he said.
The Council set up the mechanism in December 2010 and mandated it to take over and complete the remaining tasks of the ICTR and the ICTY when they are closed after their mandates expire.
The ICTR branch of the mechanism will begin functioning on July 1 this year, while the branch for ICTY will start on July 1, 2013.
The Mechanism was established by Security Council resolution 1966 (2010) to carry out a number of essential functions of the tribunals after their closure.
Contact email: karuhanga.james[at]newtimes.co.rw