UN genocide tribunal in Rwanda elects new officials

UN Photo/Mark Garten

14 February 2012 – The United Nations tribunal dealing with the worst war crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda announced today that it has elected a new President and Vice-President.

Judge Vagn Joensen from Denmark will be the next President of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and Judge Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon was chosen as Vice-President.

Judge Joensen replaces Judge Khalida Rachid Khan from Pakistan, and Judge Arrey succeeds Judge Joensen. The newly elected officials will assume their duties on 2 March and 14 February, respectively.

Before joining the tribunal in May 2007, Judge Joensen was a judge at the Danish High Court and also served as an international judge for the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in 2001-02. Judge Joensen has been the chairperson of the tribunal’s rules committee since its inception in 2007.

Prior to her election to the tribunal in October 2003, Judge Arrey served as a judge in the Supreme Court of Cameroon. Previously, she was the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for 10 years – the first Cameroonian woman to hold the post. Judge Arrey is also President of the Cameroonian Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ).

Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide, when at least 800,000 Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were killed during three months of bloodletting that followed the death of then president Juvenal Habyarimana when his plane was brought down over the capital, Kigali.


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