TheUnited Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today pledged continued support to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, saying it was doing a commendable job to bring to justice those involved in genocide in Rwanda in 1994. He said this will greatly contribute to the process of national reconciliation in Rwanda as well as bring to an end the spectre of impunity in Africa and beyond.
The Secretary-General arrived in Arusha town in the morning from Nairobi, Kenya as part of his eight -nation African tour. Mr. Annan is accompanied by his wife Nane and several senior UN officials.
The Secretary-General visited the Tribunal's headquarters and attended a court session in the case of Anatole Nsengiyumva, one of 23 accused people presently in detention in Arusha, before speaking to staff of the Tribunal and journalists. He later visited the Tribunal's Detention Facility before proceeding to Lake Manyara National Park outside Arusha.
Annan expressed satisfaction that the teething problems which affected the Tribunal soon after its establishment had been resolved in the period since the new senior management he appointed for the Tribunal assumed office a year ago. He announced that the Security Council had already approved the creation of a third chamber to speed up the trials before the Tribunal. The Tribunal presently has only two chambers handling the accused people in detention.
Earlier, the Secretary-General held meetings with the President of the Tribunal, Judge Laïty Kama (Senegal), and the Registrar, Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali (Nigeria), who briefed him on the operations of the Tribunal.
The Registrar said that Annan's visit was a great moment for the Tribunal and described him as one of the most effective Secretary-Generals in the history of the United Nations.