The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), a special UN-backed court for trying key suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, has transferred a total of eight convicts to Mali and Benin to serve their sentences, it was announced Wednesday.
A press release issued by the tribunal on Wednesday identified the convicts sent to Mali for serving their sentences as Yusuf Munyakazi, Tharcise Renzaho, Dominique Ntawukukukyayo and Theoneste Bagosora. Those sent to Benin were listed as Aloys Ntabakuze, Ildephonse Hategekimana, Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Callixte Kalimanzira.
The ICTR has made other transfers in recent months, with three other convicts having been transferred to Benin on 20 March, bringing the total number of convicts serving sentences there to 14, while another 19 are serving theirs in Mali.
According to Wednesday's press release, two convicts, namely Jean Bosco Barayagwiza and Georges Rutuganda died in April 2010 and October 2010 respectively, in Benin. While Barayagwiza was serving a 32-year sentence, Rutuganda was sentenced to life in prison by the tribunal.
ICTR, based in the city of Arusha in northern Tanzania, was formed in 1997 to try the most high profile Rwandan genocide cases. Until date, the UN tribunal has convicted nearly 40 people and acquitted five.
Currently, 30 more suspects are either being tried or awaiting trial at the ICTR. Under an agreement reached between the UN and Tanzania, all ICTR detainees who have completed their appeals procedure must be transferred to another country.
Last week, the United Nations Security Council had decided to allow four ICTR judges to serve beyond the expiry of their terms of office in order to allow the court to wrap up its work by the target date of December 2014.
It is estimated that Hutu militias slaughtered some 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus in 100 days during the 1994 genocide, which was prompted by the assassination of then-Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana. The killings ended after Tutsi-led militias supporting Rwandan President Paul Kagame ousted the then-ruling Hutu government, which supported the massacre.
by RTT Staff Writer
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