The Secretary-General of the United Nations has appointed Mr. Adama Dieng of Senegal as Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). He will succeed Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali of Nigeria who will complete his four-year mandate at the end of February 2001.
Mr. Dieng was born on 22 May 1950. He began his career as Registrar of the Regional and Labour Courts in Senegal in 1973, and then served as Registrar of the Supreme Court of Senegal for six years. In 1982, he joined the International Commission of Jurists where he served successively as Legal Officer for Africa, Executive Secretary and, from October 1990 to May 2000 as Secretary-General. While holding that post, Mr. Dieng was appointed the United Nations Independent Expert for Haiti (1995).
In announcing the appointment of the new Registrar, the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, paid tribute to Mr. Okali who had served as the Tribunal’s Registrar since February 1997 and “who had corrected many of the organizational problems which afflicted the Tribunal in its early days”.
Under Mr. Okali’s leadership serious management problems, including a chronic shortage of qualified staff, were addressed and rectified. The Court Management structure, which provides the direct support for the work of the judges, was also overhauled enabling eight trials to be completed and several others to open.
At a general meeting of the Staff of ICTR on Thursday 25 January 2001, at which Mr. Okali announced his forthcoming departure, staff of all levels, from messengers to senior managers, praised his professionalism, his integrity and his personal touch. He thanked them for their support and hard work during his mandate and expressed his confidence that they would continue to give their best under his successor.
Full Details of Mr Dieng’s career are available from the Press and Public Affairs Unit of the ICTR.