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UN Radio: More Judges Needed for Rwanda War Crimes

UN Radio: More Judges Needed for Rwanda War Crimes Court

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  • More Judges Needed for Rwanda War Crimes Court

    The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda said today that the court needs more judges in order to complete its work. Judge Erik Mose was addressing the General Assembly during the presentation of a report covering the court's work between the 1st of July last year and the 30th of June this year. He said the start of four new trials involving ten accused during the second half of this year was a consequence of the election of a pool of 18 specially appointed judges. However, he added, much work remains, noting that the tribunal has requested the Security Council to increase from four to nine the number of specially appointed judges who can sit at any one time:

    "I cannot stress enough the importance of this proposal, which will increase the capacity of the ICTR from four to six permanent Trial Chamber sections. The ICTR will thereby enjoy the same judicial capacity for conducting trials at first instance as the ICTY."

    The ICTY is the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

    Call for Establishment of National Courts to handle Yugoslavia War Crimes Presenting his report to the General Assembly, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia Judge Theodor Meron said the period between August 2002 and July 2003 has been one of great progress and accomplishment for the Tribunal. He added, however, that much work remains to be done, including the improvement of the court's procedures. Judge Meron also called for speeding up efforts to establish national courts capable of hearing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide fairly:

    "We must push for complete cooperation from all member states, and especially from states of the former Yugoslavia, in seeing that justice is done for the thousands and thousands of victims of the Yugoslav conflicts who lost lives, loved ones, property and physical and emotional well-being."

    Annann Condemns Terrorist Attacks in Baghdad

    The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan has strongly condemned the suicide bombing at a police station in Baghdad and the killing of a Spanish diplomat, Jose Antonio Bernal. A car crashed through the gate of the police compound in Sadr City killing at least eight people and wounding dozens of others. In a separate incident, a Spanish diplomat has been shot dead in Baghdad. The Secretary-General said he is deeply saddened by the toll of the dead and wounded arising from these murderous attacks. He reiterated that all terrorist acts are morally repugnant and indefensible.

    UN Envoy for Middle East Meets With President of Syria The UN Special Envoy for the Middle East peace process, Terje Roed Larsen continues his regional tour of the Middle East. Today he met with President Bashar Al-Assad of Syria at the request of the Secretary-General to discuss the grave situation in the region. After the meeting, Mr. Roed-Larsen spoke to the press and said that Syria has taken a wise decision to resort to the Security Council. He added that attacks and counter-attacks such as the recent Israeli air attack on Syrian territory and the attack on Israel across the Blue Line earlier this week only lead down to a steep and precarious path towards more violence.

    Situation Slowly Returning to Normal in Monrovia

    The situation in the Liberian capital Monrovia is returning to normal little by little as Bangladeshi troops continue to arrive from Sierra Leone. The UN mission in Liberia has been working to rid the city of weapons and said by today Monrovia should be a weapons-free zone. The spokeswoman for the UN Mission in Liberia, Margaret Novicki says the problem had been created by rebel fighters who had violated an earlier agreement not to bring in weapons:

    "And I believe that they have stopped that. We were also seeing a lot of checkpoints
    by the various government forces around town, which were armed. And just driving
    through town I noticed that various checkpoints that were formally armed, there are no weapons there."

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