Arusha, 25 March, 2009 (FH)-The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), trying key suspects of 1994 genocide, will switch-off its lights for one hour on Saturday  to join World's Earth Hour to demand action on climate change.

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"The Tribunal will be darkened for one hour from 8.30pm in solidarity with the rest of the world to support the earth hour 2009," said Roland Amoussouga, ICTR spokesman.

ICTR is housed at the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) complex in down town Arusha.

The initiative, he said, would be joined by AICC management and the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat.

Earth Hour Executive Director, Mr Andy Ridley, says Earth Hour is more than just a call to action on climate change.

"Earth Hour is an opportunity for the global community to speak in one voice on the issue of climate change, while at the same time coming together in celebration of the one thing every single person on the planet has in common - the planet," he said.   

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has agreed to participate in the event, led by the global conservation organization World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Accordingly, all lights at the UN Headquarters complex in New York will be turned off for one hour on 28 March.

Mr Ban also directed all offices away from the New York headquarters, Commissions and Tribunals to join the Earth Hour. Mr Ban has been strongly voicing against pollution and climate change.

"Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message. They want action on climate change." said Secretary-General Ban.

Some 2,712 cities, towns and municipalities in 83 countries have already committed to vote earth for Earth Hour 2009 on Saturday.

Among other notable places to switch off lights will be Great Pyramids in Egypt as well as Paris - famed as the "City of Light".


© Hirondelle News Agency