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Rwanda genocide: UN extends terms of judges

UN Security Council extends terms of judges serving on Rwanda genocide tribunal

With the mandate of 11 permanent judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda set to expire next May, but with the trials expected to continue well beyond that time, the United Nations Security Council today extended these judges’ terms of office until the end of 2008, the deadline for the completion of all the Tribunal proceedings.

Highlighting Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s recent call for “early action in order to provide the Tribunal with the continuity, stability and certainty necessary for the efficient and effective planning of trials,” the Council unanimously extended the terms of office of the judges until 31 December 2008.

Tribunal President Erik Møse had requested the extension in a letter in which among other things he noted that new trials examining those accused of the 1994 Rwandan genocide will continue well beyond May 2007 and should certain judges not be re-elected in next year’s stipulated ballot it would be impossible for the 2008 deadline to be met.

The judges are: Charles Michael Dennis Byron (Saint Kitts and Nevis); Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka); Sergei Aleckseievich Egorov (Russian Federation); Mehmet Güney (Turkey); Khalida Rachid Khan (Pakistan); Erik Møse (Norway); Arlete Ramaroson (Madagascar); Jai Ram Reddy (Fiji); William Hussein Sekule (United Republic of Tanzania); Andrésa Vaz (Senegal); and Inés Mónica Weinberg de Roca (Argentina).

Today’s resolution also requested that Member States “continue to make every effort” to ensure that their nationals who serve as permanent judges on the Tribunal remain available to serve in their positions until the end of 2008.

Last week Mr. Møse told the Security Council it was “vital” for Member States to cooperate in the Tribunal’s work but added that it remains on course to complete the trials of 65 to 70 persons by the end of 2008 as indicated in its Completion Strategy.

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