Arusha, 23 July 2009 (FH) - A delegation of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) has been visiting since Wednesday the prisons of Rwanda, which accepted in March to welcome prisoner from this court, reported Thursday the Rwandan newspaper The New Times.

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On Wednesday, the delegation initially went to the Central Prison of Kigali (CPK), commonly called "1930" (the year of its construction) equipped with a transit center,  individual cells measuring 2.7 meters by 3 meters, television room, library and medical unit.

"This transit center" is intended to temporarily host prisoners from abroad, while waiting for their transfer to the modern Mpanga prison , in the center of the country.

The prison of Mpanga includes a  facility arranged to hold prisoners who would be transferred from the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.

Kigali has always stressed that the enforcement in Rwanda sentences delivered by the ICTR would have an ‘educational' value for Rwandans.

Rwanda is the only African country to have signed with the SCSL an agreement on the enforcement of sentences.

According to the agreement, the SCSL prisoners who could be transferred to Rwanda are those whose sentences vary between 15 and 50 years of imprisonment.

The Rwandan party would be responsible with feeding them and ensuring their safety.

The purpose of the SCSL is to try the main authors of crimes against humanity, war crimes and certain crimes envisaged by the law in Sierra Leone committed since 30 November 1996, the date of the Abidjan (Ivory Coast) Agreement, which had tried, without success, to stop the crisis.


© Hirondelle News Agency