The United Nations tribunal trying key suspects implicated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda has transferred four convicts to serve their sentences in Mali and four to Benin.
Yusuf Munyakazi, Tharcise Renzaho, Dominique Ntawukukukyayo and Théoneste Bagosora were transferred to Mali, while Aloys Ntabakuze, Ildephonse Hategekimana, Gaspard Kanyarukiga and Callixte Kalimanzira will serve their sentences in Benin.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (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 to 14, while another 19 are serving theirs in Mali.
According to a press release issued by the tribunal, two convicts, Jean Bosco Barayagwiza and Georges Rutuganda, who were serving a 32 year sentence and a life sentence, died on 25 of April 2010 and 11 October 2010, respectively, in Benin.
Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during three months of bloodletting that followed the deaths of then Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprien Ntaryamira when their plane was brought down over the capital, Kigali on 6 April 1994.
Last week, the Security Council decided to allow four ICTR judges to serve beyond the expiry of their terms of office so that the court can wrap up its work by the target date of December 2014.