Arusha, December 10, 2001 (FH) - Genocide convict and former Rwandan prime minister Jean Kambanda and five other genocide convicts were on Sunday transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania to Mali, where they will serve their sentences, official sources confirmed. These six are the first ICTR convicts to be transferred to a prison to serve out their sentence.

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Kambanda is the first leader of a government to be convicted of genocide. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1999. He lost an appeal against the sentence. An estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The other five ICTR convicts transferred to Mali are: former mayor of Taba commune Jean Paul Akayesu, former governor of Kibuye province Clement Kayishema and former tea factory director Alfred Musema, who were all sentenced to life in prison; former Interahamwe militia leader Omar Serushago, who was sentenced to 15 years, and former businessman Obed Ruzindana who was sentenced to 25 years. All five lost appeals against their trials and sentences. The ICTR has so far handed down nine judgements: eight convictions and one acquittal. Three African countries, Mali, Benin and Swaziland, have signed agreements with the ICTR to take Tribunal convicts in their prisons. The convicts transferred to Mali had, until Sunday, been in custody at the UN Detention Facility (UNDF) in Arusha. The prisons in which ICTR convicts serve their sentences are required to meet international standards. GG/JC/DO/FH (RE1210e)