KIGALI - The Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, yesterday reiterated that Rwanda’s request to host the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) remains strong, and that the earlier a decision is made, the better.
Rwanda has requested to host the tons of archives that have accumulated at the UN-backed tribunal as it winds up its activities by the end of next year.
“There is a time when people, decision makers, were fronting the point of financial means as one [necessary] requirement. But the view of Rwanda is that this doesn’t require financial means,” he said.
“It will be dangerous if ‘financial means’ is used as a tool of prejudice against some members of the UN over others in this context. This is a matter of principle and not a matter of financial means”.
The final decision on which country will host the archives, once ICTR’s mandate ends, is yet to be made by the UN Security Council, the instituting organ of the tribunal.
Tanzania, host of the 16-year old tribunal has also applied to the UN to host the ICTR archives but the Prosecutor General stressed that Rwanda would not like to be seen as competing with the former or others.
Ngoga maintained that keeping the archives in Rwanda where the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi took place is a logical decision as the archives are part of Rwandan history.
“We made our views clear to the registrar, and to the UN – and this hasn’t changed. We think that the archives, being part of our history, we are the most logical home, but it is also important to note that we wouldn’t like to be seen in a situation where we are competitors,” Ngoga said.
“We don’t know when the decision will be made as this is dependent on when the ICTR will be closing down. But if the decision was made earlier than later, it would make sense.”