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Head of UN tribunal calls for cooperation of member states in arresting fugitives
update:October 24,2019
Oct.24, 2019 -- The head of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals on Wednesday called for cooperation of UN member states in tracking and arrest of the remaining fugitives indicted by the UN tribunal for Rwanda.
Judge Carmel Agius, president of the mechanism, which deals with cases left over by the UN tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda, regretted South Africa's failure to cooperate in the arrest of a fugitive wanted for crimes in Rwanda.
"Prosecutor Serge Brammertz (of the mechanism) and his team are undertaking intensive efforts to locate the fugitives, and the mechanism stands ready to try them. However, these individuals will only be brought to justice if member states provide the necessary cooperation and take measures to secure their apprehension and arrest," Agius told the UN General Assembly.
The prosecutor has reported that a fugitive has been located in South Africa, but unfortunately South African authorities have not yet executed the mechanism's arrest warrant, he said.
"I urge every member state to adhere to its international legal obligations and provide full cooperation to the prosecutor in this regard."
Eight fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) remain at large.
Agius also asked for support "to resolve the untenable situation" of nine individuals in Arusha, Tanzania, who were either acquitted, or who have already served their sentence imposed by the ICTR, but are unable or afraid to return to their country of citizenship.
The rights of these persons are gravely affected by the status quo, and it is vital to the credibility of the mechanism, as well as the United Nations as a whole, that these individuals be appropriately relocated and able to rebuild their lives, he said.
The mechanism was established by the UN Security Council in 2010. It has two branches, one in The Hague, the other in Arusha.
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