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Extensions granted to judges serving on UN war crimes tribunals

Extensions granted to judges serving on UN war crimes tribunals

The Security Council today extended the terms of several judges serving on the United Nations tribunals working to bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes committed during the Balkans conflict of the 1990s and the 1994 genocide in Rwanda so that they can complete the cases on which they are working.

The Council took that action in two separate resolutions, one on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the other on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), both of which were adopted unanimously.

In doing so, the 15-member body took note of the assessments by both courts that they will not be able to complete all their work in 2010, as had been expected under their respective Completion Strategies.

It urged both tribunals to “take all possible measures” to complete their work expeditiously.

Since its inception 17 years ago, the ICTY, which is based in The Hague, has indicted 161 persons for war crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The proceedings against 125 individuals have been completed. Only two indictees remain at large – Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadžic.

Meanwhile, ten fugitives wanted by the ICTR, which is based in the Tanzanian town of Arusha, still remain at large. The Tribunal was created in November 1994 prosecute people responsible for genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda that year. Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered, mostly by machete, in just 100 days.