Rwanda tribunal to close after spending Shs5.4 trillion

Arusha- The mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) ends next month, with the court having spent $2 billion (about Shs5.4 trillion)to try about 50 genocide cases.

But while others, especially within the United Nations, view ICTR as a success story, there are critics who see the tribunal as a wasted opportunity, citing the billions of dollars used to finance its operations in the past two decades.

Some fugitives, including the prime suspect, Mr Felician Kabuga, who has a $5 million (about Shs13.5 billion) bounty on his head, were still at large.

Mr Kabuga’s whereabouts were still unknown, although unconfirmed reports say he was hiding in Kenya.

As the court winds up, its critics are questioning whether the hefty budget justifies the number of cases prosecuted. Since it started trials in 199697, the ICTR has convicted 61 people – of who seven were still on appeal – and acquitted 14 others, of who only six had found host countries.

Some trials have been relocated to Kigali from Arusha.
According to the ICTR’s Completion Strategy, in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1503, all first-instance cases were to have completed trial by the end of 2008—this date was later extended to the end of 2009—and all work was to have been completed by 2010.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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