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UN Security Council extends terms of Rwanda tribunal judges

The UN Security Council [official website] on Friday extended [press release] the terms of four judges of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website]. Judge William Sekule of the United Republic of Tanzania, Judge Solomy Balungi Bossa of Uganda and Judge Mparany Mamy Richard Rajohnson [official profiles] of Madagascar, whose terms were supposed to end on June 30, were extended to December 31, 2014, in order to complete their cases. The cases were initially expected to have been completed by June 30. The council also extended the term of Tribunal President Judge Vagn Joensen [official profile] of Denmark for the same reason. With the extension, the council called on the tribunal to focus on its core functions and the international community for its support in arresting the remaining fugitives.

The ICTR has begun transferring cases to the Rwandan national court system. On Monday, the ICTR transferred [JURIST report] the case of Aloys Ndimbati [case materials], a former local government official in Rwanda who has been charged [indictment, PDF] with genocide, complicity in genocide, incitement to commit genocide, and crimes against humanity including murder, rape, and persecution, to the authorities of the Republic of Rwanda. Earlier this month, the case of Bernard Munyagishari [case materials] was transferred [JURIST report] to the country's court system being the fifth case to be transferred. In May, the case of Ladislas Ntaganzwa [case materials] was transferred [JURIST report] to the Rwandan national court system. Ntaganzwa, a former mayor of Nyakizu commune in Butare, had been charged with with conspiracy to commit genocide, genocide, complicity in genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the Geneva Conventions. Jean-Bosco Uwinkindi [case materials], a former Rwandan pastor and a genocide suspect, was the first to be transferred [JURIST report] from the ICTR to the national court. Uwinkindi appealed to the decision to transfer his case but it was rejected [JURIST reports] by the ICTR in December. He has been charged in 2001 with genocide and crimes against humanity. The other two transferred cases are against Fulgence Kayishema [case materials; JURIST report], a former police inspector, and Charles Sikubwabo [case materials], former Bourgmestre of Gishyita, Kibuye Prefecture. Both suspects remain at large.

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