ICTR to intensify tracking down fugitives

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has reiterated that it has intensified its efforts to arrest remaining ICTR indicted fugitives with the help of the transnational police organization, Interpol. This pledge was made by Dennis Byron, the President of the Tanzania-based tribunal in a report he plans to present to the UN Security Council this week.
ICTR President Dennis Byron.
ICTR President Dennis Byron.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has reiterated that it has intensified its efforts to arrest remaining ICTR indicted fugitives with the help of the transnational police organization, Interpol.

This pledge was made by Dennis Byron, the President of the Tanzania-based tribunal in a report he plans to present to the UN Security Council this week.

“Efforts at tracking the remaining eleven fugitives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and neighbouring countries have been intensified,” a Tanzania based news agency yesterday quoted the ICTR president as saying.

Byron is quoted reaffirming that ICTR Prosecutor Office and Interpol “have taken the decision to refocus their energies (and) other arrests are expected.”

In August, the former mayor of Kivumu, Grégoire Ndahimana, was arrested in the DRC while another notorious fugitive Capt. Ildephonse Nizeyimana was arrested in October in Uganda and immediately transferred to the UN detention facility in Arusha.

The ICTR Chief Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow has repeatedly said that most of the eleven fugitives still on the run are in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), calling on international community for concerted efforts in apprehending the Genocide suspects.

Since it was established in 1995, the ICTR, through the office of the Prosecutor has arrested over 80 of the 92 indicted suspects.

The alleged financier of the genocide, Felicien Kabuga, is believed to be in Kenya, although

Kenyan authorities continuously claim he has left their territory.

Byron’s report stresses that “several requests from the Prosecutor to Kenyan authorities on the circumstances of the alleged departure have remained unanswered to date.”

The two other top fugitives that the ICTR wants to arrest and try before closing shop in 2010 are the former Minister of Defence Augustin Bizimana, alleged to be hiding in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and the former Head of the Presidential Guard Protais Mpiranya.

The commitment by the Arusha based tribunal comes in the wake of a damning report that shows how the FDLR, a rag tag group of negative forces based in the DRC, gains its military strength from exploiting the vast country’s mineral resources.

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