Arusha, 13 July, 2007 (FH) - The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) did not give any statistics in connection with Rwandan women raped during the genocide committed against Tutsis in 1994, stated Friday its spokesperson.  

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The spokesperson of the United Nations Tribunal, Roland Amoussouga, who held a press conference, was reacting to a dispatch of the Hirondelle news agency of 10 July according to which some 250 000 Rwandan women, mainly Tutsis, were raped between April and July 1994.

The dispatch, which quoted the ICTR newsletter of June 2007, allotted the source of these figures to the ICTR.

Roland Amoussouga specified that these statistics had been referred to by the adviser of the registrar, Elsie Effange-Mbella, at a round table held in Kigali from 28 to 29 June, quoting the data provided by UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women) and Africa Women's Watch.

"These figures are on the UNIFEM website" indicated Roland Amoussouga.

The round table of Kigali, of which the aim was to enhance the image of the Tribunal by communicating to the Rwandan civil society its completion strategy, was funded by the European Union.

During this round table, attended by several ICTR senior officials, Elsie Effange-Mbella presented the achievements of the Tribunal especially with regard to gender issues.

She, notably, referred to the historic judgment of the former Mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu in which the Tribunal ruled that rape was a crime of genocide and a crime against humanity when committed with the specific intent of eliminating in whole or in part a racial entity. Akayesu was convicted of rape charges based on command responsibility.

35 other people have since been indicted for rape. Four convictions were obtained by the Prosecutor.

Persons convicted of rape, in addition to Akayesu, include the former mayors Laurent Semanza and Sylvestre Gacumbitsi as well as Mika Muhimana, a former Councilor. The latter was found guilty of having personally raped eight women.


© Hirondelle News Agency