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contribution 40 - AMOUSSOUGA Roland

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ICTR assessment


transtlated version

Very briefly, I would like to go back to what was said about the capacity of the ICTR to communicate its work in Rwanda and to share with the Rwandan people all what we are doing. And in that area the ICTR set up a programme known as the outreach programme, and that programme was beefed up and it helps to build the capacities of judicial actors and the civil society in Rwanda.

Recently, we received support from the European Union that helped us to set up about ten information and documentation offices in the ten provinces of Rwanda to reflect the major office we have in Kigali called the Umusanzu Center. We also have intinerant teams that tour the provinces and hold town hall meetings with the local population to discuss all what is being done in Arusha, to screen movies and to open up discussions. We have also enabled researchers, students, legal professionals and journalists to access international information, not only on international tribunals, but also on all aspects of international law.

And I can assure you that the failure that we felt was the non-cooperation of the Rwandan authorities who did not give us access to the radio. And as you know, we had a project to set up an ICTR radio that would have given us an opportunity to directly broadcast the trials, not only in Rwanda but in the subregion.

Unfortunately, the UN that promised the equipment blocked it out after that. We have been said the equipment had been sent to Afghanistan. After that, we discussed with the Rwandan television and radio to have direct access to the population. And that is why our sense of frustration comes from, because we considered that the information efforts that the ICTR would have done towards the Rwandan population and the Great Lakes population would have been quite targeted and effective if we had received the means of communication.

But we think that what we have initiated could be taken up by the UN residual mechanism that will build on all these achievements to preserve the legacy of the ICTR, not only for the Rwandan people, but for all of us.

That is why I’m saying that the example of the ICTR which has sent convicted personalities to other African countries typifies the resolve of African countries to backstop the Rwandan people in these efforts.

So, I believe that for now, the idea to assess sentencing, which is up to the President of the Tribunal to follow up this process, would help us some day, where the circumstances so provide, to deliver decisions as desired. But, for now, let us not criticise the African countries that have agreed to taking the Rwandan convicts and to enable them to serve their sentences in their prisons, while hoping that from the Rwandan side this will also strengthen conditions, not only for convicts in Rwanda, but for all the other convicts that are serving their time in Rwandan prisons.