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States UrgedTo Cooperate With War Crimes Tribunals

Security Council Urges States To Cooperate With UN War Crimes Tribunals

With United Nations war crimes tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia processing cases amid severe budget shortfalls, the Security Council today urged States support this effort and called on the courts to complete their work by 2010.

Ambassador Andrey I. Denisov of the Russian Federation, which holds the Council's rotating presidency for August, read out a statement reaffirming support for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

He encouraged the two tribunals to meet the Council's completion strategy, which calls for the ICTR and ICTY to wind up their investigations by the end of this year, finish all trials at the first instance by 2008, and complete all work by 2010.

Welcoming recent commitments by the new Government in Serbia and Montenegro to cooperate with the ICTY, Mr. Denisov said all States should comply, particularly Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republika Srpska within Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Many of these States have at-large indictees, and the statement named former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic and former Croatian general Ante Gotovina.

Referring to the ICTR, Mr. Denisov called for Rwanda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of the Congo as States to intensify their cooperation, and named the former businessman Felicien Kabuga as an indictee that should be brought before the court.

The statement also said the failure of some UN Member States to pay dues was "having a disruptive effect" on the work of the tribunals. Currently, ICTY has a budget shortfall of over $81.6 million while the ICTR's funding gap tops $50 million.

© Scoop Media

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