The work of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals continues to advance accountability for atrocities committed in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.
The Mechanism achieved a significant milestone with the capture and arrest of fugitive Fulgence Kayishema, noted U.S. Legal Advisor at the United Nations Mark Simonoff:
“Kayishema was indicted over twenty years ago, charged with genocide and extermination as a crime against humanity for his role in the cold-blooded murders of more than 2,000 Tutsi men, women, and children at the Nyange Parish Church. His arrest cannot restore what was lost in April 1994 in Kivumu, but we hope that it will provide victims some comfort that the fight for justice for their loved ones will continue and the facts surrounding their death will be fully brought to light.”
The United States continues to offer a reward of up to $5 million for the three remaining Rwandan fugitives sought by the Mechanism.
Mr. Simonoff also acknowledged the significance of the recent appeals judgment in the case of Jovica Stanišić and Franko Simatović. This long-awaited judgment confirmed their liability as participants in a joint criminal enterprise to forcibly remove civilians through the crimes of persecution, murder, deportation, and inhumane acts in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It is the final case involving atrocity crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.
There is only one other remaining case involving core crimes pending before the court, the case of Félicien Kabuga, accused of acting as the primary financier of the militia and political groups that perpetrated the genocide in Rwanda.
The success of the Mechanism has always depended on the cooperation and support of all states. The United States is pleased to note the increased cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia on war crimes cases, as well as the report that the Croatian Minister of Justice has been transferring requests for assistance to the appropriate judicial authorities for action, said Mr. Simonoff:
“We hope that the region can continue to make progress on cooperation, as victims have waited too long for justice. In particular, we continue to urge Serbia to act on the outstanding arrest warrants for Jojić and Radeta.”
The United States will continue to press for justice, mutual trust, and reconciliation as the foundation for peace and stability.