Chief UN prosecutor positive in achieving justice for victims of 1994 Rwanda genocide


The prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals – the judicial body that assumed the remaining work of the two UN war crimes tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia – updated the Security Council on Monday, highlighting the progress of trials and appeals.

Serge Brammertz reported that in the Félicien Kabuga case, the trial team filed its pre-trial brief and responded to significant additional litigation initiated by Mr. Kabuga’s family members and associated third parties concerning sized assets.

With the start of the Kabuga trial approaching, “we look forward to this opportunity to achieve more justice in the courtroom for the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.”

“My Office is ready for and looks forward to the commencement of this trail at the Arusha Branch when ordered by the Trial Chamber,” he asserted.

Turning to the search for remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Prosecutor Brammertz said the most wanted fugitive is Rotais Mpiranya, the former commander of the Presidential Guard.

His Office is also working to locate and account for five other fugitives indicted for genocide, including Fulgence Kayishema, who was previously located in South Africa.

“The coming period will be of decisive importance,” he said. “We expect further significant advancements in our work”.  The success of these efforts depends on the full and effective cooperation of Member States, including Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Regarding Zimbabwe, Prosecutor Brammertz said he had undertaken a mission in November to Harare, where he met with Vice President Constantino Chiwenga and other senior officials, who reaffirmed Zimbabwe’s unreserved commitment to assist his Office.

Turning to South Africa, where his Office has faced “immense” challenges over three years in obtaining cooperation, he reported that the Government failed to arrest Mr. Kayishema and to provide critical information.

“The situation with South Africa is among the most severe instances of non-cooperation my Office has faced since the Mechanism’s establishment,” he stressed.

Nonetheless, he said his Office submitted an urgent request three months ago to establish a joint investigation team and he visited Pretoria in November to discuss the matter.  “Unfortunately, I am unable to provide a more positive update today,” he said.  “South Africa is still failing to adhere to its international obligations.” (Source: UN News)