Kofi Annan wants Carla del Ponte to focus on the former Yugoslavia only
Chief UN war crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte might lose one of her positions. It became known after she had a meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, which took place in New York on Monday.
Carla del Ponte has two prosecuting posts - at the International Rwanda genocide court (based in Arusha, Tanzania) and at the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. Since the two courts were established by the UN Security Council, its members control their activities.
RIA Novosti reported, Kofi Annan wrote in a letter to the council: "As the two tribunals move towards implementing their respective completion strategies, it would seem to me essential, in the interests of efficiency and effectiveness, that each tribunal have its own prosecutor, who is able to devote their entire energies and attention to the organizations, oversight, management and conduct of the outstanding investigations and prosecutions before that tribunal." In this connection, Annan gave it to understand that it would be better if Carla del Ponte focused more on the work of the tribunal for former Yugoslavia.
Carla del Ponte's activity on the position of the chief prosecutor at The Hague Tribunal is known rather well in the world. Yet, one may not say so about the Rwanda Tribunal - the society does not have any interest in this issue at all. However, the events that have been happening in the small African republic can make a "competition" to other hotspots on the planet.
The two nations that populate Rwanda are Hutu (majority) and Tutsi (minority). In 1959, three years before the country was pronounced an independent state, Hutu overthrew the ruling Tutsi-king. Thousands of Tutsis were killed and about 150,000 were ousted to neighbouring countries after that. The children of those refugees established a Tutsi rebel organization - the Rwandan Patriotic Front (currently the only ruling party in the state) - and unleashed the civil war in 1990. The war, in a combination with the political and economic shock resulted in the genocide in July of 1994, when there were about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutu killed. The Tutsi rebellion crushed the Hutu regime, though. About two million Hutu fled to neighbouring African countries - Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire (currently the Democratic Republic of Congo).
A lot of refugees have returned to their fatherland since that time. However, the country does not have a stable political and economic situation anyway. Rwanda was involved in two wars with the Democratic Republic of Congo during the recent four years. Furthermore, extremist Hutu organizations still conduct subversive activities, so the situation in Rwanda is rather dangerous - the tribunal preferred to be based in Tanzania. It has considered 15 criminal cases since 1994, there are 60 other cases pending. It is not surprising that Annan would like Del Ponte to concentrate on the former Yugoslavia only. One shall assume, The Hague Tribunal has less work to do.