Arusha, 27 March 2009 (FH)-The UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs, Mrs Patricia O' Brien, has stated that fugitives of 1994 Rwanda genocide will not escape justice, but will be pursued by residual mechanism to be adopted when the UN Court for Rwanda winds up  end of this year.

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"The fugitives will not be left off the hook," she stressed during a press conference on Thursday evening after holding two-days of high level discussions with top authorities of the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).

At least 13 key suspects of the genocide are yet to be arrested, including the alleged financier Felician Kabuga, believed to be hiding in Kenya. Others have reportedly holed up in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

The residual mechanism is a structure which will be delegated role of managing issues which will not have been settled at the closing of the UN Court.

"These fugitives will be captured by residual mechanism," she emphasized, adding that the draft residual mechanism was ready and currently was submitted to ICTR for additional input before the UN Secretary General presents the final version to the Security Council for necessary guidance and adoption, most likely before mid this year.

Mrs O'Brien insisted that she was confident that ICTR was moving on right direction to meet the completion strategy. "I have every confidence that all was moving as agreed," she said.

The UN top legal officer observed that ICTR has achieved its mandate when establishing the UN Court in 1994 to help in reconciliation in Rwanda by   bringing to justice key perpetrators of the slaughter, one of worst humanitarian tragedy of 21st century.

Mrs O'Brien left Thursday night for Kenya, where she is expected to meet top authorities to press for the arrest of fugitive Kabuga. However, Nairobi has denied that Kabuga was in Kenya.

"My traveling to Kenya is sufficient demonstration that not enough has been done," she said, adding that UN would continue with its efforts to exert diplomatic pressure to resolve the issue.

The ICTR Prosecutor, Hassan Jallow reported to the UN Security Council late last year that intelligence reports pointed that Kabuga was hiding in Kenya.

Mrs O'Brien reiterated that UN member states had an obligation to assist in arresting the fugitives. In particular, she urged the DRC, like in the past, to track down the suspects.

The UN official is planned to meet Rwandan authorities on Monday.


© Hirondelle News Agency