Genocide court to wind up by end 2020

Judge Agius Carmel speaks during a meeting with the Minister for Justice Johnston Busingye in Kigali earlier this year. File.

The President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Judge Carmel Agius, Monday announced that the court is expected to wrap up its judicial work by the end of 2020.

Judge Agius said this as he met with the President of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria, at UN Headquarters in New York.

Judge Agius briefed the latter on the current caseload and judicial developments at both branches of the Mechanism.

“President Agius indicated that it is expected that nearly all of the existing judicial work will be concluded by the end of 2020, but stressed that in order to do so the Mechanism will need to receive the necessary resources,” reads part of a statement by the Mechanism.

A few years ago, the Mechanism took over from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) established by the UN to try masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The Mechanism took over from both the former International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) – which closed shop in December 2015 – and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which closed in 2017.

Judge Agius also emphasized that UN member states’ cooperation was essential to the fulfillment of the Mechanism’s mandate, and in particular to the apprehension of the remaining eight Rwandan Genocide fugitives indicted by the UN court.

Judge Agius subsequently presented an overview of the Mechanism’s 2020 Budget requirements and also highlighted the importance of the relationship between the Mechanism and the General Assembly.

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