Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge, the Information and Documentation Centre of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was opened today in Kigali, Rwanda, by the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Registrar of the ICTR, Mr. Agwu U. Okali.
In his address, Mr. Okali told the guests that the principal work of the Tribunal is to try genocide suspects but also, and most importantly, that those trials must make justice a reality to the Rwandan people and thus contribute to the process of national reconciliation within Rwanda itself. Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge in Kinyarwanda means a "Contribution to Reconciliation".
The Umusanzu centre is a home for three facilities which have been provided by the ICTR to the people of Rwanda and will be the backbone of the Tribunal's information programme in Rwanda.
The first is a public information area that features materials on the work of the ICTR, such as the Tribunal's judgements and decisions in Kinyarwanda, as well as numerous other resources, such as videos of court proceedings and computers with internet access.
Secondly, the centre houses a library with several hundred volumes on international law, the Rwandan genocide and related issues. The library also has internet teminals for research on the work of the Tribunal and issues of international justice.
The third component of the centre is the Victims Assistance Programme, which provides counseling for victims who are witnesses or potential witnesses before the Tribunal. This programme will be officially launched in Taba, Gitarama Prefecture, tomorrow, 26 September 2000.
The ICTR Registrar, Mr. Okali, thanked the Rwandan Government for having made available the building in which the Umusanzu centre is housed.
"The launching of this centre is an important new dimension in the relationship between the International Tribunal and the people of Rwanda", he concluded.
In his response, the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Mr. Bernard Makuza, on behalf of the President and the Government of Rwanda, thanked the Registrar, Mr. Okali, and said that the bond of partnership between the ICTR and the people of Rwanda had just been reinforced by the establishment of Umusanzu centre.