02.04.08 - RWANDA/GENOCIDE - ARUSHA TO COMMEMORATE RWANDA GENOCIDE ANNIVERSARY

Arusha, 2 April, 2008 (FH) - Three institutions have joined forces to organize the commemoration of 14th Rwandan genocide at the headquarters of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania which will culminate next Monday.
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The Special Representative of the Rwandan government to the ICTR, Aloys Mutabigwa ,told Hirondelle News Agency that the annual event, normally organized by Rwandans living in Arusha, this time around was jointly organized by his office, the Rwandan community in Arusha and the ICTR Staff Association.

He explained that this year's genocide anniversary was likely to be the last one in Arusha as ICTR expects to complete all first instance trials by December 31, as directed by the United Nations Security Council and the Appeals by 2010.

According to Mutabingwa there would be a number of speakers on that occasion who would reflect what happened in the 1994 Rwandan genocide to ensure that "never again slogan does not remain as a slogan only."

The speakers include the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Isidore Shirima, ICTR Registrar Adama Dieng, ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Jallow and Mutabingwa himself.

"This could be the last commemoration for us in this premise," said Mutabingwa who also mentioned that the event would be held in one of the grounds of the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) starting from 3.30 pm till 5.30 pm, on April 7, 2008. Before the speakers take the floor, there will be prayers from all religious denominations.

Mutabingwa also recognized the high degree of commitments of the ICTR staff in rendering justice, the result of which, he said, was the successful story of the ICTR work.

"I should commend the efforts made by the ICTR leadership for improving efficiency," he said.

During the four years he worked with ICTR (2004-2008) he explained, he witnessed the number of cases completed doubled as compared to the first eight years of ICTR's existence (1995-2003).

The UN Tribunal was established by the UN Security Council to prosecute the perpetrators of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. According the UN estimates, about 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during the April-July massacres.

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