Recognizing that serious violations of humanitarian law were committed in Rwanda, and acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) by resolution 955 of 8 November 1994. The purpose of this measure is to contribute to the process of national reconciliation in Rwanda and to the maintenance of peace in the region. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was established for the prosecution of persons responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994. It may also deal with the prosecution of Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations of international law committed in the territory of neighbouring States during the same period.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is governed by its Statute, which is annexed to Security Council Resolution 955. The Rules of Procedure and Evidence, which the Judges adopted in accordance with Article 14 of the Statute, establish the necessary framework for the functioning of the judicial system. The Tribunal consists of three organs: the Chambers and the Appeals Chamber; the Office of the Prosecutor, in charge of investigations and prosecutions; and the Registry, responsible for providing overall judicial and administrative support to the Chambers and the Prosecutor.
977 of 22 February 1995, the Security Council decided that the
seat of the Tribunal would be located in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.
RATIONE MATERIAE: genocide, crimes against humanity, violations of Article
3 common to the Geneva Conventions and of Additional Protocol II shall be punish-able;
RATIONE TEMPORIS: crimes
committed between 1 January and 31 December 1994;
RATIONE PERSONAE ET RATIONE LOCI: crimes committed by Rwandans in the territory
of Rwanda and in the territory of neighboring States, as well as non-Rwandan
citizens for crimes committed in Rwanda.
Budget and Staff
For 2008-2009, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the ICTR biennial budget of $267,356,200 gross ($247,466,600 net) and authorized 1,032 posts for 2008 and 693 posts for 2009. 86 nationalities are represented at the Tribunal (Arusha, Kigali, the Hague and New York).
the ICTR (ICTR Completion Strategy)
Relevance for Peace and Justice
- NEVER AGAIN. African
countries must absorb the lessons of the Rwanda genocide in order to avoid
a repetition of the ultimate crime” on the continent.
Weak institutions in many African countries have given rise to a culture
of impunity, especially under dictatorships that will do anything to cling
- EVOLUTION OF POLITICAL AND LEGAL ACCOUNTABILITY. It
is usually individuals in power or authority that can in practice commit
crimes against humanity. This is the first time high-ranking individuals
have been called to account before an international court of law for massive
violations of human rights in Africa. The Tribunal’s work sends a strong
message to Africa’s leaders and warlords. By delivering the first-ever verdicts
in relation to genocide by an international court, the ICTR is providing
an example to be followed in other parts of the world where these kinds of
crimes have also been committed.
- COOPERATION OF AFRICAN COUNTRIES. The accused persons in the custody
of the Tribunal in Arusha have been arrested and transferred from more than
15 countries. Several countries in Africa have increasingly cooperated with
the Tribunal in the discharge of its mandate. There appears to have been
a progressive realization in these countries that they cannot allow fugitives
from international justice in their domain.
- ENFORCEMENT OF PRISON SENTENCES. The
Tribunal prefers, to the extent possible, enforcement of its sentences
in Africa, for socio-cultural reasons.
This will also have greater deterrent effect in the continent. By providing
jails for the Tribunal’s genocide convicts, African countries would be demonstrating
a serious commitment to the rule of law. On 12 February 1999, the Republic
of Mali became the first country to sign an agreement with the ICTR to provide
prison facilities for the enforcement of the Tribunal’s sentences. A similar
agreement was signed with Benin on 26 August 1999. Negotiations with other
African countries are nearing conclusion.
- POLITICAL, MORAL AND MATERIAL SUPPORT by
African countries for the court is essential. Much depends upon the ultimate
success or failure
of the ICTR because it is dealing with crimes committed in Africa, with more
than 500,000 victims. African countries and Governments should make the point
that the lives of these victims are as important as those of victims of mass
atrocities everywhere by giving a higher profile to the work of the International
Tribunal for Rwanda. The Tribunal’s work is providing important precedents
for the future International Criminal Court and various national jurisdictions.
It is making a fundamental contribution to international peace and justice
in the twenty-first century.
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