Hassan B. Jallow, Prosecutor of the ICTR and the MICT, issued a statement today to mark the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide that began on 6 April followed by a hundred days of the killing of a reported one million people because of their Tutsi ethnicity or other ethnic groups who stood up against the killing of innocent victims.
In paying his respects to the victims and survivors of the Rwandan genocide, Prosecutor Jallow expressed “gratitude to the thousands of survivors who have, despite numerous challenges, testified at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and assisted the tribunal with the indispensable material for the execution of its mandate to render justice.”
Prosecutor Jallow pointed out that the Tribunal worked in collaboration with the Rwandan legal system and other national jurisdictions as part of a global process “of ensuring justice for the victims and survivors and accountability for the perpetrators of the genocide.”
Since its establishment in 1994 to prosecute those who played a leading role in the planning and execution of the Rwandan genocide, the ICTR has now concluded all trials at first instance and will complete the appeals cases by next year. The ICTR has indicted 93 of these leaders including former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, former Cabinet members, senior military officers, political leaders, and clergy, among others. All but nine of the ICTR indictees have been brought to justice with 61convictions for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
The Prosecutor also extended his gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of Rwanda for their support and collaboration with the tribunal, to the member states and international community and to the global process of accountability, particularity in the arresting of the fugitives.
However, Jallow pointed out that there was work still to be done with nine fugitives remaining at large. He said this could only be done through active collaboration of all states to arrest and transfer fugitives for trial. The Prosecutor emphasized that “Several suspected genocidaires whom the ICTR has not been able to prosecute due to the limitation of its mandate must in accordance with the requirements of international law, be prosecuted by the host countries or extradited to Rwanda to stand trial.”
In concluding about moving forward, Jallow said “Our ultimate goal must however be to give concrete realisation to the deep seated yearning for ‘Never again’. The implementation of effective international and national preventive strategies for the avoidance of mass atrocity must rank as a global priority. The international community needs to live up to its obligation to protect communities in danger of such mass atrocity.”
Prosecutor Jallow has been ICTR Prosecutor since 3 October 2003, and was appointed MICT Prosecutor on 1 March 2012. Since 1 July 2012, the Mechanism for International Tribunals (MICT) Arusha branch has assumed numerous responsibilities from the ICTR, including tracking and prosecution of fugitives, appeals in ICTR cases completed after that date and the monitoring of cases transferred to Rwanda.