Arusha, November 12, 2011 (FH) - The President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Judge Khalida Rachid Khan, on Saturday called upon states of the Great Lakes region to intensify their cooperation to arrest nine fugitive indicted for their alleged participation in the Rwandan genocide.

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Justice Khan was presenting the ICTR annual report before the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

"We call upon all States, especially the States of the Great Lakes region, and in particular Kenya, to intensify their cooperation with the tribunal and to render all necessary assistance so that the remaining fugitives can be arrested," she declared.

Among the accused on the run, the three high-value targets of the ICTR are Félicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana.

"These fugitives, who are accused of the most terrible crimes, must be arrested to send a strong message to the world that evading justice in not an option", the Pakistani magistrate added.

With respect to the completion strategy of the ICTR, Khalida Khan stated that staff retention was a "significant" challenge for the ICTR. "Many experienced staff members have left for more permanent jobs at other institutions. These departures constitute an important loss of experience and institutional memory", she explained.

The ICTR was slated to end its cases at trial level before December 31st. Judge Khan already announced that one procedure would extend until May 2012.

© Hirondelle News Agency