In the latest development, the 25 detainees of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda who had joined a hunger strike in solidarity with convict Jean-Paul Akayesu, today called off their hunger strike. The detainees ate dinner at the United Nations Detention Facilities (UNDF) at Arusha today. The detainees also wrote a letter to the Tribunal authorities in which they affirmed their decision to terminate their hunger strike and addressed various other issues of concern to them in relation to the Tribunal's judicial process.
The Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali, confirmed this development. "We are pleased that the hunger strike has been called off", he said. "It is a victory for truth and common sense. As we have maintained, our programme on the assignment of defense counsel is very fair and indeed generous", Mr. Okali added.
Regarding Mr. Akayesu, he drank a significant quantity of milk yesterday and remains under close medical supervision; ICTR Registrar Okali also expressed hope that Akayesu will call off his protest as soon as possible.
A total of 32 individuals are detained in the Tribunal's detention facility.