The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has initiated major moves to strengthen its relationship with the Rwandan Genocide Survivor Groups.
This follows a successful five-day visit to Rwanda by an ICTR delegation led by the Chief of External Relations and Strategic Planning Section and Spokesperson of the Tribunal, Mr. Roland Amoussouga. During the visit Mr. Amoussouga held discussions with the survivor groups and senior government officials.
On behalf of the Registrar of the Tribunal, Mr. Amoussouga met and held discussions with Ms. Dancilla Mukandoli, President of AVEGA, Ms. Immaculée Mukankubito, Second Vice-President of IBUKA, Ms. Agnes Mukabaranga, Secretary-Deputy and Member of the Human Rights Commission at the National Assembly, Mr. Gerald Gahima, Prosecutor General of the Supreme Court, and Ms. Zaïnabo Sylvie Kayitesi, President of the Rwandan Human Rights Commission.
The candid and cordial discussions addressed issues of mutual concerns from both parties and ways to iron out differences which have cropped up in the past. These include smooth provision and facilitation of witnesses to the trials going on before the Tribunal and ensuring that a sustainable channel of communication between the parties is maintained open at all times. IBUKA and AVEGA suspended close cooperation with the Tribunal early 2002.
It is the Tribunal’s intention to revive, pursue and develop a better and harmonious working relationship with the two organisations.
The parties also discussed about the welfare of genocide witnesses and victims as well as matters concerning international justice.
This was an ice-breaking meeting taking into consideration problems encountered in the past in maintaining a harmonious relationship. Smooth co-operation between the parties will play a major role in ensuring that the Tribunal fulfils its mandate and successfully implements its completion strategic plan by the year 2008.