The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was established by United Nations Security Council in November 1994, in its article 995 of November 11, 1994, only four months after Rwanda was liberated thanks to Paul Kagame’s RPF-Inkotanyi.

The court was given green light to exercise justice to Genocide-related crimes committed  between January 01 to October 31, 1994, with the court headquarters having been set in Arusha, Tanzania.

ICTR held the first case between 1997 and 1998, in a case involving Jean Paul Akayezu, who was former Taba Commune in Gitarama Province, now in Kamonyi District, Southern province after being arrested in Lusaka, Zambia in 1995.

In the process, the court ordered a life sentence to Akayezu following evil participation in the killings of 2000 Tusti Victims who have escaped to the Commune he was leading.

And the last case was held on Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, former Minister of Family Promotion, being the only female to face criminal charges by this court, also facing life sentence before the sentence was reduced to 47 years in prison, with her son Arsene Shalom Ntahobari,  after appealing for the former charges.

During 20 years of exercise, the court sent  93 documents arresting Genocide convicts hiding in different parts of the world.  85 cases have been completed, among which 62 including Jean Kambanda, former Prime Minister in 1994 Government of transition, were handed respective sentences.

Particularly, Kambanda, admitted his Genocide involvement, and was therefore given life sentence, where he is now jailed in Mali, while 23 more convicts were sent to other countries to complete their charges, including three who were sent in Rwanda with likes Jean Bosco Uwinkindi, two in France, and 10 more are waiting for the countries in which they can complete their sentences.

on the other hand, 8 convicts died in Arusha in the court hands, including two whi deid before their cases were  finalized.

23 have finalized their sentences while 14 have been claimed innocent and released.

Of those who completed their legal charges and innocent ones,  there are still 11 who are living in the house under UN security control in Arusha, Tanzania, where they feel like they were forgotten by their families according to Voice of America reports.

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Some their families live in different European countries, others are elsewhere in Africa, but these countries have not expressed their will to officially  give them exile stay and they prefered to stay there, as a result.

the likes of Andre Ntagerura who was the Minister of Transport and others who were part of the Rwandan Army Forces applied to join their families where they are based, showing no interest to come back in Rwanda while they claim they are in a disappointing situation as different countries are not willing to receive them for  reportedly fearing to of break their diplomatic ties with Rwanda.

Sylvain Nsabimana, the former Butare Province Chief, now in Southern Province, was released at the end of 2016 after he was senteced to spend 18 years in prison for his involvement in Tutsi Genocide , but was immediately released because the sentence was already over given the period of time he spent in court.

The government of Rwanda has breathlessly been expressing criticisms against the courts’ legal proceeding, especially on Tutsi-Genocide cases, but it got more disappointed following the back to back unreasonable releases of the convicts while others have seen thier charges reduced.

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, therefore opposed to the recent releases, insisting that those who were being released were the major factor to prepare and put Tutsi-Genocide into action.

The International Criminal Tribunal Court completed its judiciary activities in 2015, while there are still 8 more convicts still wanted to apear before the justice, but the ‘Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals’  is still searching their whereabouts.

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@Fred Irakoze


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