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UN extends terms of Rwanda criminal tribunal justices

The UN Security Council [official website] on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution [Resolution 2080 (2012), text] to extend the term of office of five judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) [official website]. Justices Mehmet Guney of Turkey, Khalida Rachid Khan of Pakistan, Arlette Ramaroson of Madagascar, Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov of the Russian Federation and Andresia Vaz [official profiles] of Senegal, all permanent judges of the ICTR Appeals Chamber, will now hold office until the sooner of December 31, 2014, or the completion of the cases to which they are assigned. In the resolution the Security Council also

Urges all States, especially States where fugitives are suspected to be at large, to intensify further their cooperation with and render all necessary assistance to the International Tribunal, in particular to achieve the arrest and surrender of all remaining fugitives as soon as possible; ... [and] Commends States that have accepted the relocation of acquitted persons or convicted persons who have completed serving their sentences to their territories, and reiterates its call upon all States in a position to do so to cooperate with and render all necessary assistance to the International Tribunal for its increased efforts towards the relocation of acquitted persons and convicted persons who have completed serving their sentences.
The Security Council also requested updates on the transition of functions of the ICTR to the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT), set up in December 2010 and mandated it to take over and finish the remaining tasks of the ICTR and International Criminal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) [official website] when they are closed after their mandates expire. The resolution urges both tribunals to complete their work by the end of 2014.

Since its founding in 1994 following the Rwandan genocide [BBC backgrounder], the ICTR has indicted 91 individuals and, thus far, finished 50 trials with 29 convictions. In July the ICTR transferred four genocide convicts to the Republic of Mali [JURIST report] to serve their sentences. A month earlier the tribunal transferred the case of Aloys Ndimbati [JURIST report], a former local government official in Rwanda who has been charged 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 that month Bernard Munyagishari's case was the fifth to be transferred [JURIST report] to the country's court system.

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