April 20, 2024

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Registrar Abubacarr M. Tambadou concludes official visit to Rwanda

By Emmanuel Kanamugire

The Registrar of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (Mechanism), Abubacarr M. Tambadou, today concluded an official mission to the Republic of Rwanda from 11 to 16 February 2024.

During his visit, Registrar Tambadou engaged in high-level meetings with several senior Rwandan government officials, including the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Honourable Dr. Emmanuel Ugirashebuja, Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, Honourable Dr. Jean Damascene Bizimana, Minister of Local Government, Honourable Mr. Jean Claude Musabyimana, Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Honourable Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of State for the Ministry of Health, Honourable Dr. Yvan Butera, and Prosecutor General, Aimable Havugiyaremye.

Registrar Tambadou briefed them on a range of important issues, including the Mechanism’s transition to a purely residual entity and the need for continued collaboration and consultations between the Mechanism and Rwandan authorities, as well as the Mechanism’s operational continuity in Rwanda after closure of the Kigali Field Office on 31 August 2024.

Registrar Tambadou stressed that closure of the field office did not mean disengagement with Rwanda as the Mechanism would only change its approach to its work.

Registrar Tambadou further discussed ways to enhance partnership between the Mechanism and the Rwandan government in the preservation of the legacy of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Mechanism.

The visit also provided Registrar Tambadou and his team with the opportunity to engage with other UN entities in Rwanda, including UNDP, UNICEF, WHO and UNAIDS, to discuss additional support as the Mechanism prepares to close its Kigali Field Office.

During his visit, Registrar Tambadou held a press briefing to inform the Rwandan people of the continuation of mandated functions, such as witness protection, mainly from the Arusha branch of the Mechanism, as well as the small team of staff from the Office of the Prosecutor who will remain in Rwanda to continue to assist national authorities, particularly in the tracking of fugitives.

Registrar Tambadou concluded his official visit by meeting with representatives from IBUKA, an umbrella association of genocide survivor organizations in Rwanda, to inform them about the upcoming Kigali Field Office closure and to solicit their views as the Mechanism transitions to a purely residual entity in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions.

READ ALSO: UN Court Announces Closure of Kigali Field Office after 30 Years of Operations

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