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No place for Rwanda genocide convicts as court prepares to wind down

By Godfrey Olukya
Posted on Tuesday, 9 September 2014 15:50

As it enters its last year of operation since its establishment 20 years ago by the United Nations, the Arusha, Tanzania based Tribunal is now faced with the question of where to send convicts, who have refused to serve their sentences in Rwanda.

The convicts include different high profile people in the then Rwanda government

The court prosecuted and convicted 83 of the 92 initial suspects, nine of whom remain at large.

Addressing a press conference at Uganda’s media centre in Kampala on Tuesday, ICTR information officer, Danford William Mpumilwa said the UN had passed a resolution to deal with the court’s dilemma.

The resolution appeals to member states to host the genocide convicts in their countries, where they can serve their sentences.

“The convicts include different high profile people in the then Rwanda government, including senior military commanders, cabinet ministers, businessmen and journalists among others,” Mpumilwa said.

However, Rwanda’s ambassador to Uganda, Frank Mugambage, accused the global court of being slow in its methods of work.

“The government of Rwanda put in place local courts called Gacaca in which thousands of genocide cases were expeditiously tried and the suspects found guilty were punished,” he said.

An estimated 800,000 people were killed in Rwanda in1994 when the majority Hutu massacred the Tutsi minority.

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