Arusha. Nine former suspects of the Rwanda genocide, who have been acquitted, remain stranded in Arusha as no state is willing to accept them.
They are among scores of the indicted fugitives released by the disbanded International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) some of them after serving their sentences but have no where to go.
Judge Carmel Agius, the President of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) which took over the activities of ICTR, is pleading for the wiling countries to assist them.
“These people should be free to start a new life, having served their sentences or never been convicted in the first place,” he told the United Nations Security Council in New York on Wednesday.
He said the nine currently remain in Arusha under the IRMCT’s responsibility “as no state has yet been willing to accept them.”
The Mechanism, also based in Arusha, took over the mandate of ICTR after the latter was disbanded in December 2015, having prosecuted suspects of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Those acquitted after serving their sentences or cleared of the charges are at liberty to settle in a country of their choice if not willing to return to their home country, Rwanda.
Judge Agius made the remarks when he presented his first progress report to the UN Security Council since he took up office on January 19th this year.
With regard to the on-going proceedings in Arusha, the IRMCT President informed the Council of the review hearing of the Augustine Ngirabatware case.
The case involves five Rwandese nationals, who have been arraigned at the IRMCT’s court for alleged incitement and contempt of both the IRMCT and ICTR.
The trial of the five persons, Maximillien Turinabo, Jean de Dieu Ndgagijimana, Dick Prudence Munyeshuli, Anselme Nzabonimpa and Mariet Rose Fatuma, is expected to start in October this year.