UN Prosecutor IDs South Africa for Inaction Over Rwandan Genocide Suspect

NEW YORK – The chief prosecutor for the tribunal pursuing suspects involved in the 1994 Rwandan genocide has told the United Nations Security Council that South Africa continues to do nothing in respect of a suspect inside its borders, despite a year-long series of urgent requests.

Brammartz addressing the Security Council.

Serge Brammertz,  prosecutor of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, said at the UN yesterday that until Tuesday this week his office only received pro forma responses from South Africa. Yesterday, for the first time, it received a more formal note verbale saying that it was committed to working with his office.

“(W)hile many Member States have committed to providing cooperation, more can be done to ensure that their authorities deliver on this commitment,” he said.

“(It) appears that some countries do not prioritize cooperation with my Office in
bringing genocide fugitives to justice. Since August of last year, my Office has been seeking urgent cooperation from South Africa in relation to the arrest of a fugitive located on its territory.

“We have continually renewed our requests, and have repeatedly sought to engage directly with South African authorities. Unfortunately, until yesterday we only received pro forma responses that our requests have been forwarded to the appropriate authorities and are being considered.

“South Africa confirmed yesterday by Note Verbale that it is fully committed to cooperating with my Office. I hope that this time it will deliver on this commitment immediately.”

The suspect was not named and no details about his stay in SA were given.