UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Elects New Officials

UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) today elected a new President and Vice-President.

The ICTR has elected Judge Vagn Joensen from Denmark as the the next President and Judge Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon was chosen as Vice-President.

ICTR deals with the worst war crimes committed during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Wanted poster for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

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, Judge Joensen was Judge at the Danish High Court, Eastern Division, in Copenhagen since 1994. He served as an international judge for the UNMIK in Kosovo from 2001 to 2002. Judge Joensen has been the chairperson of the tribunal’s rules committee since its inception in 2007.

Judge Joensen was born in 195. He obtained a Master of Law in 1973 at the University of Aarhus and served in the Danish Ministry of Justice until he was appointed a Judge at the City Court of Copenhagen in 1982. He had been teaching constitutional, criminal and civil law at the Law Faculty of the University of Aarhus and that of the University of Copenhagen. At International level he has studied at the City of London College in 1972, at Harvard Law School in 1979.

Prior to her election to the tribunal in October 2003, Judge Arrey served as a judge in the Supreme Court of Cameroon. She was also the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal for 10 years and the first Cameroonian woman to hold the post.

The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955. It is tasked to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda.

Based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha, the ICTR was set up after the Rwandan genocide.

The 1994 Rwandan genocide claimed 800,000 lives. Mostly those belonging to the Tutsi tribe were slaughtered but machetes also slashed many moderate Hutus who called for peaceful coexistence. The official history claims that the genocide, like tsunamis or tornadoes, could have neither be predicted nor prevented.

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