Rwanda to block war crimes court at UN

2013-04-14 22:10

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - 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 on 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 co-operation 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.

Shameful behaviour

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 criticised 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 criticised 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.

- SAPA
Read more on:    international criminal court  |  un  |  eu  |  ban ki-moon  |  war crimes
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.