UN Security Council:Rwanda said it would not accept a statement which mentions the ICC which it has strongly criticized.

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UNITED NATIONS : The United Nations has been hit by a second war crimes court dispute in a week with Rwanda trying to stop the UN Security Council praising the International Criminal Court.

The storm comes only days after the United States boycotted a UN General  Assembly debate where Serbia’s president launched a fierce attack on  international war crimes courts.

Rwanda is organizing a Security Council meeting Monday on conflict  prevention in Africa when traditionally the 15-member body would release a  statement.

The seven ICC members on the council — Argentina, Australia, Britain,  France, Guatemala, Luxembourg and South Korea — insist on acknowledging the  work of the court in ending impunity for war crimes, diplomats said.

Rwanda said it would not accept a statement which mentions the ICC which it  has strongly criticized, according to diplomats.

Rwanda is the council president for April and its Foreign Minister Louise  Mushikiwabo will chair the meeting with UN leader Ban Ki-moon also attending.

It is expected to highlight its own experiences in bringing stability since the  1994 genocide in which more than 800,000 people died.

ICC members on the council wanted a statement which stresses “the important  role of the International Criminal Court and reiterates the importance of  cooperation with the court,” said a copy obtained by AFP.

“Rwanda said it would rather have no statement at all than one which  mentions the ICC,” said a UN diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It  is a strange position for a country which is organizing the meeting.”

“There is a clear divide in the council, seven-seven, on the ICC issue,”  Rwanda’s deputy UN ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe told AFP.

He said a compromise could be found before Monday’s meeting. But western  diplomats said this was unlikely.

“Given their own tragic circumstances, this is just shameful behaviour by  Rwanda,” said Richard Dicker, justice specialist for Human Rights Watch.

The rights group has has been strongly criticized by the Rwandan government  for its reporting on the nation. Rwanda has also slammed the ICC and the  international tribunal set up to handle its genocide cases.

About half of African nations are ICC signatories but Rwanda is among a  hard core who complain about its tactics. “The ICC is a political court and we  have never believed in its jurisdiction,” Rwanda’s foreign minister said last  month.

Rwanda’s Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama took up the attacks against  international tribunals at a UN General Assembly meeting on internationl  justice on Wednesday.

Karugarama said his country felt “betrayed” by the International Criminal  Tribunal on Rwanda that handled major cases after the 1994 genocide.

The United States boycotted the General Assembly meeting which was marked  by a fierce attack on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former  Yugoslavia by Serbia’s President Tomislav Nikolic.

He said there was “a  systematic atmosphere of lynch-mobbing of everything that is Serbian.”

The comments were strongly criticized by the European Union. And UN leader  Ban strongly defended the growing role of international justice at the meeting.

The international tribunals have “ushered in an age of accountability,” Ban  said.

Tensions over international justice dispute could worsen. The 20th  anniversary of the Security Council’s call for the creation of the Yugoslavia  tribunal is in May and some countries want a special anniversary meeting.

AFP

 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. What else can the so called Rwanda government say? After killing so many innocent hutu civilians and none of them has been given justice…..the international tribunal could only deliver one sided justice ….only those who committed genocide crimes were brought to book but criminals inside the rwanda government are walking free and even dining with superpowers!

  2. The Rwandan government can’t accept the international justice because It knows what is waiting for.Killing many innocents in Rwanda and outside,arbitrary arrests,hundred thousands of people are in prison in Rwanda for unknown reasons.So what are you looking to do for Rwanda current governement with the international coutrs while He has a big number of criminals including the current President Paul kagame who killed more than three Presidents(Former Presidents habyaramana,Cyprien of Burundi, Kabila of DR Congo and so on).
    Let wait and the future will tell us about the past of the current government of Rwanda and his corruption around the world.

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