Sunday, December 4, 2016

Searching for the Fugitives

The establishment of the Mechanism is a key step in the Completion Strategies of the two tribunals. The tracking, arrest and prosecution of the remaining fugitives still wanted by the ICTR is a top priority for the Mechanism. Of the 90 persons indicted by the ICTR, 9 remain at large. Of these, three have been earmarked for trial by the Mechanism: Félicien Kabuga, Protais Mpiranya and Augustin Bizimana. The ICTR Prosecutor has requested referrals to Rwanda in the cases of the six other fugitives: Fulgence Kayishema, Charles Sikubwabo, Ladislas Ntaganzwa, Aloys Ndimbati, Charles Ryandikayo, and Phénéas Munyarugarama.

Unlike national systems, the Mechanism has no police force and no powers of arrest. It remains reliant on the cooperation of national governments to arrest fugitives. Under the Mechanism’s Statute, member states are obliged to cooperate unconditionally and to comply with requests for assistance and orders of the Mechanism.

The Mechanism's Office of the Prosecutor has a tracking team that is responsible for gathering intelligence on the whereabouts and activities of the fugitives and providing support to national law enforcement authorities in arresting them.

The work of the Tracking team involves severe challenges: the strategies of the fugitives for evading justice include not only identity changes but also a constant mobility across a large belt of East, Central and Southern Africa, and inaccessible areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The collaboration of the states in which the fugitives are suspected to be taking refuge is crucial in order to succeed in apprehending those individuals.

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