The Kingdom of Swaziland has become the third country to agree to receive persons convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for the purpose of serving their sentences. The agreement was signed in Mbabane on 30 August by the Hon. Albert H. Shabangu, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on behalf of the Government of Swaziland and by Mr. Agwu U. Okali, United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Registrar of the ICTR, on behalf of the United Nations.
During his mission to Swaziland the Registrar also had an audience with His Majesty King Mswati III who emphasised his commitment to the principle that African nations should be closely involved in finding solutions to the continent's problems.
At a press conference following the signing ceremony the Minister emphasised that, as a Member State of the United Nations, Swaziland had supported the creation of the Tribunal. The Government therefore welcomed the opportunity to contribute to its work by facilitating the enforcement of its sentences and thereby to contribute to the healing process for Rwanda following the 1994 genocide.
The Registrar paid tribute to Swaziland's political stability, effective institutions and respect for human rights. These factors as well as the high standards of Swaziland's correctional facilities meant that the Tribunal had had no hesitation about approaching the Government for this kind of assistance. He thanked the Swazi Government and authorities for becom1ng the first country in Southern Africa to demonstrate its support for the Tribunal in this important manner.
The Registrar paid courtesy calls on the Prime Minister, Dr. Sibusiso Dlamini, Chief Maweni Simelane, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Chief of staff of the army and toured several of the country's correctional facilities.
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. Swaziland joins Mali and the Republic of Benin as countries which will, in due course assure the enforcement of such sentences.