From 5 to 7 February 2014, the General Prosecutor of the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC), Mr. Mbacké Fall visited the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunal (MICT) in Arusha upon the invitation of Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Prosecutor of the ICTR and of the MICT.
The EAC was created following an agreement signed between the Republic of Senegal and the African Union (AU) on 22 August 2012. The Tribunal was established within the Senegalese judicial system to prosecute the perpetrators of international law violations in Chad between 1982 and 1990. This agreement concluded over two decades of efforts to secure a mechanism for the trial of Hissen Habré, the former President of Chad. The Chambers were inaugurated in February 2013.
The object of the visit was for an exchange of views on the relevance of the ICTR experience for the EAC. In this respect, Prosecutor Jallow assured his counterpart that the lessons and best practices experience of the OTP ICTR will be shared with the Office of the Prosecutor of the EAC.
During a working lunch with high UN officials in Arusha – Justice Hassan B. Jallow, Prosecutor of ICTR and MICT; Mr. Stephen Mathias, Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs who was on a separate mission to ICTR/MICT Arusha; Mr. Bongani Majola, Registrar of ICTR and Mr. John Hocking, Registrar of the MICT – Prosecutor Fall briefed officials on the status of the execution of the mandate of the EAC and on some of the challenges it faces.
The work program also included individual meetings with the President of ICTR and with members of the Senior Management teams of ICTR and MICT, a courtesy meeting with the Honorable Lady Justine Sophia A. B. Akuffo, President of the African Court on Human Human and Peoples’ Rights and a visit at United Nations Detention Facilities.
The parties agreed that, as the first internationalized tribunal to have been established with the involvement of the African Union, the EAC will provide valuable insight into what a regional approach to internationalized justice may look like. Principals of the ICTR and MICT expressed thanks to the Prosecutor of the EAC for his working visit. It was further agreed that both parties will explore potential ways of improving their cooperation.
The visit took place in a spirit of courtesy and mutual respect.