Wednesday, May 29, 2024

All ICTR Fugitives Accounted for

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A Milestone in International Justice

Arusha, 15 May 2024 – After decades of relentless pursuit, the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) Prosecutor proudly declared today the successful accounting for all fugitives indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for their roles in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This momentous announcement marks the closure of a chapter marred by violence and impunity, signaling a triumph for international justice.

The confirmation that the last two fugitives, Ryandikayo and Charles Sikubwabo, are deceased brings to a close a long and arduous journey for justice. These individuals, like many others, stood accused of heinous crimes, including genocide, complicity in genocide, and crimes against humanity. Their pursuit was not merely a legal obligation but a moral imperative to hold accountable those responsible for the atrocities committed during one of the darkest chapters in human history.

Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz reflected on the monumental effort undertaken by the ICTR and its successor, the IRMCT, in tracking down these fugitives. He acknowledged the daunting challenges faced, from political reluctance in executing arrests to the fugitives’ elaborate efforts to evade capture.

Brammertz emphasized the critical role played by the United Nations Security Council in supporting the pursuit of justice. The resolutions and consistent attention provided by the Security Council were instrumental in facilitating the work of the IRMCT and its Fugitive Tracking Team. Moreover, he underscored the indispensable cooperation between international and national authorities, highlighting the collaborative efforts that led to this historic achievement.

While celebrating this milestone, Brammertz acknowledged that there is still work to be done. With over 1,000 fugitives sought by national authorities for their involvement in the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the quest for justice continues. The IRMCT remains committed to supporting these efforts, recognizing the permanent pain and suffering of the survivors and victims.

In closing, Chief Prosecutor Brammertz paid tribute to the survivors and victims of the genocide, whose resilience and courage have inspired the pursuit of justice. Their trust in the international community has been honored, but the quest for justice must persist until all perpetrators are brought to account.

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