Arusha, 9 July, 2009 (FH)-The UN Security Council has extended the mandate of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for another one year, reports Hirondelle Agency.

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A decision of Resolution 1878 (2009) issued on Tuesday also stated that all judges (permanent and ad litem) will have their contracts extended to December, 2010.

The extension follows concern raised by the ICTR President, Justice Dennis Byron, before the UN Security Council in December, last year, that not all trials would be completed by the deadline of December, 2009.

Addressing  the Security Council over his six-monthly report, Justice Byron stated categorically that at least one joint trial of three former ruling MRND party leaders was sure to spill over to 2010 and that at least eleven cases, involving 24 accused persons, were underway.

He also expressed his fear over the exodus of key and middle level professionals.

Justice Byron also reminded that the closing strategy may be affected if the 13 fugitives were to be arrested. At least four of them, he said, must be tried by ICTR.

This is the second extension granted to the ICTR following that of December, 2008.

The UN Court was established in November, 1994 to try key suspects of the Rwanda genocide. However, the Court only started its work two years later.

Since its establishment, ICTR has convicted 39 individuals and acquitted six.


© Hirondelle News Agency