Rwanda, UN to discuss universal jurisdiction

Foreign affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo yesterday said that Rwanda would now take the issue of abuse of international law to higher levels like the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) for further discussions.

Foreign affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo yesterday said that Rwanda would now take the issue of abuse of international law to higher levels like the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) for further discussions.

Rwanda requested the African Union (AU) to place the issue of universal jurisdiction on its agenda in 2008 after French and Spanish judges issued baseless indictments against some government officials.

“The issue now stands at a much broader level of the UN where we will be going into the specifics of the abuse and try to take some important decisions on how to make sure international law is applied equally to all UN member countries,” the Minister said yesterday in Kampala.

“We now have a report of the AU  on universal jurisdiction that we want to share and also talk to many other member states and get our position ready for broader discussion this coming September”.

AU’s legal adviser, Ben Kioko, told the media yesterday that there should be an international appeal mechanism, so that if a country abuses the principle, there is an international control mechanism that can be referred to.

Mushikiwabo added that Rwanda would also take AU’s position on the matter for further discussion with the EU, to know how the European bloc treats “indictments that are baseless politically motivated and that seem to be only looking at one part of the world.”

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