The office of the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, is negotiating with South Africa to have the notorious renegade behind the Rwanda Genocide, Fulgence Kayishema, flown from Johannesburg, to Arusha for trials.
That is according to Serge Brammertz, the Prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), during his address to the United Nations Security Council, regarding the work of the Office of the Prosecutor.
Brammertz states that only four fugitives remain at large, including the top priority fugitive, Fulgence Kayishema.
The Prosecutor informs the Security Council that “after several challenging years, progress is now being made with the Republic of South Africa” and that his office is “confident that with the full and effective cooperation of South Africa, Kayishema’s flight from justice will soon be brought to an end.”
The Office of the Prosecutor wants to account for all four outstanding fugitives before the year 2024.
The UN Security Council is being kept up-to-date with ongoing search for the remaining fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda of Arusha, before the ICTR closed shop.
“I am very pleased to be able to inform you that in the last two years, my office has accounted for half of the fugitives who remained at large following the closure of the ICTR.
That includes all three of the so-called major fugitives, including Félicien Kabuga, Augustin Bizimana and Protais Mpiranya.”
Kabuga is in the Hague undergoing medical treatment before being flown back to Tanzania to stand trials in Arusha.
Prosecutor Brammertz noted that his office is ready for the commencement of the Kabuga trial in Arusha, Tanzania and had taken steps to substantially reduce the length of the trial by submitting much of its evidence in writing.
With respect to national prosecutions of crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Prosecutor Brammertz reminded the Security Council that there are still thousands of cases that need to be completed in national courts.
As for crimes committed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in Rwanda, Prosecutor Brammertz explained that it is well-known that “more efforts are needed to ensure accountability for fugitives who have fled to other countries, particularly in Europe and Africa.”
The Prosecutor noted, “The challenge is fundamentally about priorities and resources, and sometimes a lack of political will.”
He emphasized that the understandable focus “on crimes being committed today… cannot be an excuse for failing to investigate and punish crimes of genocide committed in Rwanda two decades ago.” As Prosecutor Brammertz underscored, “Our commitment to ending impunity and ensuring accountability for international crimes must be truly universal.”