Arusha, June 17, 2011(FH) -The United Kingdom has called up all states to cooperate with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) to ensure all remaining nine genocide fugitives are arrested and brought to justice.

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"I encourage all countries to provide the ICTR with full co-operation as it seeks to bring to justice the remaining fugitives," British Foreign Office Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham, said in a statement published on Thursday.

His statement was made two days after the transfer to the United Nations Detention Facility in Arusha, Tanzania of genocide-suspect Bernard Munyagishari, subsequent to his arrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo DRC) on May 25, 2011.

"I welcome the news that Bernard Munyagishari has been transferred to the ICTR in Arusha, where he will be charged with some of the most serious crimes of international concern, including genocide and crimes against humanity," he said.

He pointed out that the ICTR continued to carry out the mandate given by the international community to bring to justice those most responsible for the dreadful crimes committed in Rwanda in 1994.

"Munyagishari's arrest demonstrates that there can be no escape from the reach of international justice," the minister said. The initial appearance for Munyagishari, according to ICTR press service, has been scheduled for next Monday before Judge Dennis Byron.

Addressing the United Nations Security Council on June 6, 2011, the ICTR Prosecutor Hassan Bubacar Jallow, thanked the DRC for its cooperation that made the arrest of Munyagishari possible and expressed his hopes that the continued support would "facilitate the arrest shortly of the remaining nine fugitives, majority of whom were in that territory."

He also welcomed the "reactivation of the joint ICTR-Kenya Police Task Force since November 2010" on the file involving the most wanted genocide fugitive, Felicien Kabuga and looked forward to the assistance of the government of Kenya in his tracking and arrest.

The prosecutor also expressed the continued "difficulties experienced" in the tracking of the top level fugitive Protais Mpiranya, who was Commander of the Presidential Guard and urged further cooperation and assistance from the government of Zimbabwe in such regard.

Munyagishari, who is presented by the prosecution as leader of Interahamwe militiamen in Gisenyi prefecture, North Rwanda, is charged five counts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide and murder and rape, as crimes against humanity.

Born in 1959 in Rubavu commune in the prefecture, the accused is alleged to have recruited, trained and lead Interahamwe militiamen in mass killings and rapes of Tutsi women in Gisenyi and beyond, between April and July 1994.


© Hirondelle News Agency