Arusha, May 7, 2001 (FH) Judges and staff of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) on Monday marked a minute of silence in tribute to ICTR judge and first President Laity Kama of Senegal, who died in a Nairobi hospital on Sunday. "Speaking on behalf of the judges, I would like to express our tremendous shock and grief at the death of a colleague who was revered and respected, " said current ICTR President Judge Navanethem Pillay of South Africa.

0 min 51Approximate reading time

She reminded Tribunal staff that Judge Kama had been elected President by his colleagues in 1995, and then again in 1997. "That was a tremendous show of confidence in his ability to lead the Tribunal in its initial and difficult stages," said Judge Pillay, adding that Judge Kama had served as a role model for her when she assumed the presidency in June 1999. The body is to be flown from Nairobi to the Senegalese capital Dakar on Wednesday evening, after a ceremony at the mortuary earlier in the day. Judge Kama's family and ICTR Registrar Adama Dieng, also of Senegal, are already in Nairobi, according to official sources. Further ceremonies of remembrance are to be announced later. ICTR Rules provide that when a position falls vacant in Chambers, the UN Secretary-General makes an appointment in consultation with the presidents of the Security Council and of the General Assembly. JC/PHD/FH (JU0507f)