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Will The New ICTR Prosecutor Focus on Rwandan RPF Crimes?

For the month of September 2011, the UN Security Council is expected to adopt a resolution appointing the Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The ICTR is based in Arusha, Tanzania and was created to prosecute war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed in Rwanda over the year 1994, at the peak of the 1990-1994 Rwandan civil war.

The new Chief Prosecutor will replace the controversial Hassan Jallow, widely accused of being too close to the Rwandan government, and hence stifling cases against alleged criminals within the current Rwandan government and instead focusing on the Hutu ethnic group. The accusations become louder during his reappointment in September 2007 and especially in December 2008, when he refused to prosecute a member of the current Rwandan ruling military junta for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

On December 9, 2008, UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay disclosed to media at the UN that she had leveled accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against a Rwandan general, Karenzi Karake. Ms. Navi Pillay  stated than  Hassan Jallow refused to pursue the case, alleging that” he had no case against” the Rwandan general.  When the UN Human Rights Commissioner became too vocal, Hassan Jallow said he did not know who the general was, then later contradicted himself by saying that he had done investigations and found no evidence of crimes. General Karake was then serving as a commander of UN Peace Keepers in Darfur, Sudan.

It is expected that one of the missions of the new ICTR Chief  prosecutor will be to prosecute the war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed during the 1990-1994 Rwandan civil war against the ethnic Hutu majority  by the current ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front composed of the elite from the  Tutsi minority ethnic group. To date, the ICTR has only prosecuted crimes committed by the former Hutu leaders.

With the new UN Resolution, Hassan Jallow still has the chance to be reappointed, either by a change in ICTR statutes or for a shorter term while his replacement is being found or the tribunal work is being phased out. He has already served for the allowable maximum two  four-year terms.  Sources within the Rwandan Embassy at the United Nations in New York have told AfroAmerica Network that the Rwandan government has been lobbying the UN Secretary General and other UN Security members  to get Hassan Jallow reappointed and the ICTR closed within a short delay.

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  • Preeyaphorn September 7, 2011, 1:14 am

    That for we need A good JUDGE even in Thailand country …..