The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, on Monday 25 October 2010, awarded the winners of the East African Youth Essays and Drawings Competition at an elaborate ceremony also marking the UN Day in Arusha, Tanzania. The celebration which was graced by Ambassador Juma Mwapachu, the Secretary-General of the East African Community, who was guest of honour, was also attended by the President of the Tribunal Judge Dennis Byron, the Registrar Mr. Adama Dieng, ICTR Judges, Mr. Hans Koeppel, the Deputy Head of Mission at the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, senior government officials, UN staff and hundreds of students from primary and secondary schools in Arusha and those who took part in the competition from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
Ambassador Mwapachu hailed the initiative by the Tribunal to use the writing and creative abilities of the youth in the region to raise their awareness in matters pertaining to international justice, while the President, Judge Byron underscored the role of the youth in promoting peace in the region. The Registrar Mr. Dieng hailed the youth for their commitment to peace and reiterated the Tribunal’s resolve to continue sensitizing the youth in the region.
Also to address the congregation were the winning students who displayed amazing grasp and understanding of genocide, the concept of international justice and their future role in promoting peace and security in the region.
Hundreds of entries were received in the competition organized by the Tribunal, whose aim was to sensitize the youth of the Great Lakes region on the “Role of the Tribunal in Promoting International Justice”. The first winners in each category from each country attended the ceremony and received their awards. The awards include a Lap Top Computer and software each to the two top winners in each category – essays and drawings – and a Desk Top Computer with software to the top winning schools in each category from each country.
The Competition was part of the Tribunal’s Educational and Outreach campaign to raise awareness of the youth in the region in the global fight against the culture of impunity, following the tragic events that led to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. It involved students from Primary and Secondary schools in the region. The project was graciously funded by the government of the Federal Republic of Germany through its Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
At the awards ceremony the Tribunal also organized an exhibition on the work of the ICTR and genocide as well as displays of some of the outstanding entries in the Drawing and Essay Competition.