The Ambassador of France in Tanzania, His Excellency Mr. Jean François Lionnet and the Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Mr. Adama Dieng, today signed an agreement between France and the United Nations on the enforcement of sentences imposed by the ICTR.
Speaking during the occasion, the French Ambassador commended the work being done by the Tribunal, saying it was of historical importance. He added that the agreement was another example of the commitment of the French authorities to promote international justice, a key issue for peace and development in a globalised world.
Thanking the Ambassador for the support of France for the work of the ICTR, Mr. Dieng emphasised that the material and political support of all UN Member States was necessary in order to enable the Tribunal to successfully achieve its mandate. He said that France, which has previously supported the Tribunal in judicial and technical fields, was again setting an example to other member states by being the first European country to sign such an agreement, adding that it was his hope that this cooperation will continue to develop. The agreement will be effective soon after its ratification by the French National Assembly.
Under the Rules of the ICTR when an individual has been convicted of one or more of the crimes falling within its mandate and sentenced to a term of imprisonment the sentence is served in Rwanda or in the prisons of a State which has indicated its willingness to accept convicted persons for that purpose. Sentences are served under the supervision of the Tribunal.
The agreement with France brings the number of countries that have entered such agreements to four. The other countries are Mali, Benin and Swaziland. Negotiations are in progress with other African and European States.
At present six prisoners, including the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Jean Kambanda, are serving their sentences in Bamako, Mali.