The recently appointed Special Representative of the Government of Rwanda to the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Mr. Martin Ngoga, has said that the Government and people of Rwanda were impressed by the "visible progress" the Tribunal had made in the recent past.
Mr. Ngoga, a former prosecutor in the southern Rwandan district of Butare, gave the Rwandan assessment of the work of the Tribunal today as he met with the Tribunal’s Registrar, Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali at the Tribunal’s Headquarters in Arusha. "My Government appreciates the successes and improvements recorded by the ICTR in recent times", Mr. Ngoga stated. He explained to the Registrar that this was an important reason for the decision of the Rwandan Government to appoint an official representative at the Tribunal, adding that his appointment was "an expression of that appreciation".
The Rwandan official also said he had been appointed in order to fill a "gap" between the Rwandan Government and the Tribunal which had sometimes resulted in "actions and reactions" by Rwandan authorities regarding the work of the Tribunal which were later found not to have had the benefit of full and accurate information on the situation at the Tribunal.
The Registrar welcomed the appointment of the Rwandan representative, which was a positive outcome of discussions he had with senior Rwandan Government officials in Kigali in August 1998. He said that the Rwandan Government needed to have someone who would observe the judicial work of the Tribunal on behalf of the Rwandan people. "The Tribunal is very pleased at this development and will facilitate your work, while being mindful of its independence as a judicial institution", the Registrar said.
Mr. Ngoga expressed his appreciation of the Registrar’s advocacy for restitutive justice and assistance to the victims of the Rwandan genocide. "Punishment of the perpetrators is only half of the picture; the needs of the victims must also be addressed if the Rwandan people are to move forward", Mr. Ngoga said.
The Rwandan representative had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Vice-President of the Tribunal, Judge Erik Møse, and held meetings with other senior officials of the Tribunal.