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Press Statement by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda

The Prosecutor is appreciative of the appropriate action taken by the Government of the Republic of the Cameroon in having arrested persons suspected of having committed grave violations of international humanitarian law in the Rwandan genocide of 1994.

The Prosecutor recognizes and emphasizes that national courts and the Tribunal have concurrent jurisdictions. In cases which should come before the International Tribunal, it has been authorized by the Security Council to exercise primacy of jurisdiction and, if it does so, then national authorities are obliged to defer to that jurisdiction.

The Prosecutor stated some weeks ago that, having regard to the allegations against him, the case against Théoneste Bagosora is one which should come before the International Tribunal. Some of the other persons detained in the Cameroon may also be appropriate for indictment by the Tribunal. In deciding whether to approach a Trial Chamber for deferral orders, the Prosecutor wishes to consult with interested Governments and, in particular, those of the Cameroon Republic, the Republic of Rwanda and the Kingdom of Belgium. The Prosecutor is seeking such consultations and he hopes that they will be held in the coming weeks.

At the present time, the Prosecutor has on his staff in Kigali only 24 investigators. There is a chronic shortage of interpreters, and there are no analysts. The office is seriously under-staffed and under-resourced. Of the 24 investigators, 19 have been seconded by Member States, the majority coming from the Netherlands. The Prosecutor has been obliged to respond to the detention of other important suspects by Zambia, Belgium and Switzerland. In consequence of the inadequate resources available in the Office of the Prosecutor, the global investigation into the organization of the genocide has been prejudiced.

The Prosecutor, the Registrar, and the members of their Offices, extend to the people of Rwanda deep condolences as they approach the second anniversary of the genocide. They call on the international community to ensure that the Tribunal is adequately resourced and is able to carry out the important mandate given to it by the Security Council at the request of the Government of Rwanda.

For information only - Not an official document

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