The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda today handed over a Mercedes Benz armoured truck with eight new spare tyres to the Tanzania Prison Services for the latter to use it for its prison activities. The handover ceremony was held at the UN Detention Facility (UNDF) in Arusha.
Ms Sarah Kilemi, the ICTR Chief of the Division of Administrative and Support Services handed the keys of the truck to Mr Fidelis Mboya, the Tanzania Commissioner of Prisons in charge of Legal and Administration Services, at a ceremony attended by senior officials of the Tribunal and the Prison Services. The Commissioner was representing the Tanzania Principal Prison Services Commissioner Mr. Augustino Nanyaro who could not attend the event due to other commitments.
The heavily armoured truck was being used by the Tribunal’s Detention Facility to transport its detainees who are being tried by the ICTR for crimes of genocide they allegedly committed in Rwanda in 1994.
Speaking during the occasion, Ms Kilemi, who read a statement on behalf of the ICTR Registrar Mr. Adama Dieng, expressed ICTR’s appreciation for the support the Tanzania Prison Services was according the Tribunal’s operations since it was established in 1994. She added that the handing over of the truck was just a token of appreciation of this work and reiteration of the Tribunal’s commitment to assisting the Prison Services through capacity building projects.
Ms Kilemi added that the Tribunal was also undertaking training programmes for the Tanzanian Prison Officers. It is on record that the ICTR, in particular the UNDF, has also contributed to the efficiency of the Tanzania Prison Services by way of offering on-the-job training to about 300 officers. This was achieved by ensuring the officers assigned to the UNDF for the past 15 years were trained in various aspects of handling detainees in accordance with international required standards. Some of them were trained in First Aid, fire fighting techniques, team building and confidence building.
The Tribunal, Ms Kilemi added, was now inviting the Prison Services to avail some of its officers for short secondment programmes with the ICTR as part of a more effective training programme. These would then be re-absorbed back by the Prison Services.
Receiving the truck, Mr. Mboya thanked the ICTR for the assistance and assured the Tribunal of his Services’ full and consistent support to the work of the ICTR. He also welcomed the proposal to strengthen the training programmes for his officers as part of the overall capacity building programmes which will greatly benefit the Tanzania Prison Services.