The International Panel of Eminent Persons(IPEP), established by the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) to Investigate the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda today visited the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha where it was briefed on the Tribunal's operations. .
During the visit the Panel, led by Sir Ketumile Masire, the former President of Botswana, held talks with the President of the ICTR, Judge Laïty Kama, Judges of the Tribunal, the Registrar, Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali and senior officials. It also attended a court session in the case of Alfred Musema, a former Director of a Tea Factory in Kibuye who is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity.
Other members of the IPEP are General Amadou Touré, former Head of State of Mali, Ms. Lisbet Palme, wife of former Prime Minister of Sweden Olof Palme, Ambassador Stephen Lewis, Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF, Ms. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former UNDP Assistant Administrator for Africa, Ambassador Hocine Djoudi, member of the Algerian Senate, and Justice P.N. Bagwati, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India.
Speaking to members of the press at the conclusion of the visit, Sir Masire said he was sure the public information that they had received during the visit from the ICTR and which they will continue to receive in the future, will greatly help the Panel's work especially on issues of justice, impunity and accountability.
He lauded the work being done by the Tribunal and said the Panel was "favourably impressed" by what it had seen and learnt during its visit to the Tribunal.