The Government of Rwanda and the United Nations signed on 4 March 2008 in Kigali, Rwanda, an agreement on the enforcement of sentences imposed by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The agreement was signed by Dr. Charles Murigande, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, on behalf of the Government of Rwanda and by Mr. Adama Dieng, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Registrar of the ICTR, on behalf of the United Nations.
Rwanda has become the seventh country designated to receive persons convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for the purpose of serving their sentences.
The Statute of the ICTR provides for the terms of imprisonment imposed on persons sentenced by the Tribunal to be served in Rwanda or in any State which has indicated its willingness to the Security Council to assist the Tribunal in this way. Rwanda joins Mali, the Republic of Benin, Swaziland, France, Italy and Sweden as countries which signed similar agreements on the enforcement of such sentences.
Dr. Charles Murigande pointed out that the Government of Rwanda welcomes this latest development which is yet another sign for the future good cooperation between Rwanda and the ICTR. The Minister said that the agreement is significant towards the peace and reconciliation process in the country.
Mr. Adama Dieng said that as far as the enforcement of sentences is concerned, the signing of the agreement marked a milestone in the cooperation between ICTR and Rwanda. He acknowledged that the country had made significant progress in terms of the standard of prisons to accommodate ICTR’s convicts and the agreement appears as the last brick completing the legal framework which qualifies Rwanda for the enforcement of sentences handed down by ICTR. Mr. Dieng added that he had no doubt that the Rwandan Government will take the necessary legal steps to enable the rapid implementation of this agreement.
The Ceremony was witnessed among others; by Rwanda’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr. Joseph Nsengimana, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Tharcisse Karugarama, the Prosecutor General, Mr. Martin Ngoga, the UNDP Resident Coordinator ad interim in Rwanda, Ms. Elisabeth Balapa Representive of the WFP, Rwanda’s Representative to the ICTR, Mr. Aloys Mutabingwa, Mr. Roland Amoussouga, ICTR Spokesman and Chief of External Relations and Strategic Planning Section, Mr. Mandiaye Niang, Special Assistant to the Registrar, Mr. Mamoudou Touré, Chief of Administration ICTR Kigali, Mr. Mohamed Ayat and Mr. David Wagala of the Office of the Prosecutor in Kigali.