President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals Judge Graciela Gatti Santana, has paid a courtesy call on the Tanzanian Head of State Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Their meeting took place at the State House in Dar es Salaam.
In attendance there was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, and Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs Dr Damas Ndumbaro.
It was the first time that a President of the Mechanism meets with a Head of State of Tanzania.
Judge Santana had just jetted into Dar-es-salaam from her visit in Rwanda
During the State House meeting, President Gatti Santana commended the President of Tanzania for her leadership and personal interest in the Mechanism’s mandate.
She lauded President Samia for her strong commitment to multilateralism.
Gatti expressed gratitude for the long-standing and invaluable contribution of Tanzania as Host State of the Mechanism’s Arusha branch since 2012.
Previously Tanzania hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) from 1996 until its closure in 2015.
In this regard President Gatti Santana recalled with appreciation that President Samia Suluhu had represented the Tanzanian Government at the inauguration of the Mechanism premises in 2016.
She also acknowledged the excellent support that Tanzania has provided throughout to the Mechanism, its Judges, Principals, and staff.
Judge Gatti Santana briefed President Samia Suluhu on the Mechanism’s current activities and challenges, as well as achievements and progress being made.
In addition, she shared with Her Excellency President Samia Suluhu Hassan the core priorities of her new Presidency of the Mechanism.
The exchange further focussed on the case against Félicien Kabuga before the Mechanism.
They discussed the importance of preserving and maintaining the ICTR archives, the future of the Mechanism’s Arusha premises and the empowerment of women and gender balance.
On her part President Samia assured the Mechanism of the continued cooperation of her country in fulfilling its responsibilities as Host State and its full support of the Mechanism’s remaining work.
President Gatti Santana and President Samia later discussed ways in which cooperation could be strengthened between the Mechanism and Tanzania.
In this context, Judge Santana praised the dedication of the Tanzanian Staff at the Mechanism, particularly those working at the Arusha branch.
“The Mechanism is fortunate to have two highly skilled and experienced Tanzanian Judges on its judicial roster,” Judge Santana Maintained.
After thé State House Meeting, President Gatti Santana met the United Nations Résident Coordinator in Tanzania, Zlatan Milišić, in Dar-es-salaam.
The Mechanism was established by the United Nations Security Council on 22 December 2010.
It is mandated to perform a number of essential functions previously carried out by the ICTR and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.
Its branch in Arusha, Tanzania, started operating on 1 July 2012. President Gatti Santana is the Mechanism’s third President and assumed her functions on 1 July 2022.