Rwanda: United Nations Justice


February 13, 2008: The Burundian government and the FNL rebel faction, National Liberation Forces–Party for the Liberation of Hutu People (FLN-PALIPEHUTU) will begun face to face talks in late February. It is not clear that this is a break through, but it is a sign of some progress. In July 2007 the FNL-PALIPEHUTU rejected the international mediation team as "biased" in favor of the Burundian government. The UN has estimated that the FNL-PALIPEHUTU still has around 2000 fighters. The FNL faction will be asked to join the Joint Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVMM), which oversees the peace process.

February 12, 2008: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) will end its formal operations sometime in 2008. The UN established the ICTR in November 1994 (UNSCR 955) to prosecute the key instigators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The first ICTR initiated trial took place in 1997. At the end of 2007 the ICTR had completed 35 cases. The ICTR has 27 on-going cases. 16 people on the ICTR's wanted list (ie, people accused of major genocide-related crimes) have yet to be arrested.

February 11, 2008: The mandate of South Africa's chief mediator for Burundi, Charles Ngakula, was extended until the end of 2008.

February 10, 2008: Criminals or assassins? The presumption is assassins. Frederique Banvuginyunvira, the head of Burundi's second-largest political party, Front for Democracy in Burundi (Frodebu), was wounded in a grenade attack on his home. His wife and child were killed in the attack. Banvuginyunvira serves as part of the ruling national unity government, headed by the Forces for the Defense of Democracy Party (CNDD-FDD). The attack comes as negotiators are trying to reach a new agreement with rebel Hutu factions.

February 8, 2008: In 2007 the US government gave Rwanda seven million dollars worth of military aid. Much of the money was used to support training programs for the Rwandan Army as well as provide equipment for Rwandan peacekeepers serving in Darfur.

January 30, 3008: The Rwandan government said that it believed military intervention by international forces might be the only way to avoid further ethnic fighting in Kenya. The Rwandan statement emphasized the "quick reaction" was the best way to deal with a crisis. The Rwandan statement was based on Rwanda's experience in 1994 (Rwandan genocide of Tutsis at the hands of radical Hutus).




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