Within the framework of reinforcing the existing cooperation between the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda [ICTR] and the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, the Registrar of the ICTR, Mr. Adama Dieng and his delegation, visited Rwanda from 1st to 7th March 7, 2003. During his visit, Mr. Dieng held several meetings and working sessions with Government, Judicial and Legislative authorities in Rwanda.
The Registrar also conferred with the members of the Diplomatic corps accredited to Rwanda as well as representatives of United Nations Specialised Agencies operating in Rwanda. He also visited Butare and Kibuye provinces.
During this mission, the Registrar held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, Dr. Charles Murigande, the President of the Supreme Court, Mr. Siméon Rwagasore, and the Prosecutor General of the Supreme Court, Mr. Gerald Gahima. Mr. Dieng also paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Prosper Higiro, and the members of the Human Rights Parliamentary Commission.
The Registrar of the ICTR and the said authorities held discussions on matters relating to cooperation between Rwanda and the ICTR and explored ways and means of reinforcing the existing cooperation to facilitate the accomplishment of the mission devolving on the Tribunal.
Mr. Dieng informed the members of the international community working in Kigali of the latest developments within the ICTR, and stressed the urgent need for the international community to support the efforts of the ICTR and the Rwandan Government in the on-going national reconciliation process, which he said was an essential step in the country’s national reconstruction.
The Registrar hailed the recent decision by the President of Rwanda, His Excellency Paul Kagame to free a number of prisoners. On the invitation of the National Unity and reconciliation Commission, Mr. Dieng visited some of the released prisoners in Kinyinya solidarity camp near Kigali.
The Registrar also paid a visit to the National University of Rwanda in Butare and held talks with the Rector, members of the Conflict Management Centre [CMC] and of the Faculty of Law. He also held discussions with the Director of the National Law Training Centre in Nyanza. The discussions centred on the modalities of strengthening scientific and academic cooperation with the ICTR. The Registrar, accompanied by the Kibuye provincial authorities, visited the Nyange Secondary School and Nyange Church Genocide Site. The Registrar also climbed Mount Bisesero and paid tribute to the victims who were massacred there.
The Registrar’s visit to the Rwandan countryside enabled him to honour the memory of the victims of the Rwandan genocide and to avail himself the opportunity to commend the courage of the young pupils of Nyange, some of whom preferred death to division.
During his stay in Kigali, Mr. Dieng also met with all the ICTR staff based in Rwanda and lauded their efforts in ensuring that the Tribunal accomplishes the mandate assigned to it by the United Nations Security Council. He reiterated to the staff that the Tribunal’s objective was to wind up the investigations by the end of 2004 and assured the management in Kigali of his continued support in the pursuance of that noble task. The meetings and commitments of the authorities, he said, were invaluable in attaining the Tribunal’s objectives.