Cameroonian Judge Elected To Do Justice For Rwanda

Par Martin Nkematabong | Cameroon Tribune
Yaundé - 20-Aug-2003 - 08h30   50730                      
Justice Florence Rita Arrey is 4th out of the 18 judges elected on merit to work for the UN war crime tribunal.
The United Nations Security Council has established a pool of 18 temporary judges to help the United Nations war crime tribunal for Rwanda complete its work on time. The 18 were selected by vote in an election organised by the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Cameroon born justice Florence Rita Arrey, (Technical Adviser at the Supreme Court), emerged fourth, in order of merit, scoring 154 votes. The judges who will be attached to the Office of The Prosecutor, based in Arusha, Tanzania, are expected to facilitate the process of prosecution of people responsible for the genocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda between 1 January and 31 December 1994. The Tribunal may also deal with prosecution of Rwandan citizens responsible for genocide and other such violations of international law committed in neighbouring states over the same period. The Rwanda Tribunal was created in Arusha, Tanzania, November 1994 to try Rwandan army, the youth militia and supporters who massively slaughtered civilians, mainly Tutsi and other moderate Hutus. So far, it has registered a plausible achievement with the indictment of over 60 suspects, 50 of whom have been arrested in some 20 countries in Africa, Europe and North America. In co-operation with these countries, the Tribunal successfully transferred them to Arusha. The detainees include 12 ministers, civilians, military officials, prominent businessmen, church leaders and radio journalists. The Tribunal's three Trial Chambers have so far produced over 500 decisions on legal questions in various cases. To speed up the pace of work at the Tribunal so that eye witnesses should not, with time, forget the details of events, it was necessary to elect these 18 other judges on ad litem (can be called up to assist in particular cases at a given time ) bases. Justice Florence Rita Arrey says she is up to the task to defend the Rwandan genocide victims, uphold the arm of justice at the United Nations and defend the legal colours of Cameroon abroad. "I know I am going to listen to horrible crimes that were committed by man against man; cases of murder, rape, torture and others. It requires a lot of courage. But by the grace of God, I will accomplish my task", she reassured. Justice Arrey, who was the first Cameroonian woman to be appointed State Council has also held various positions such as Regional Director of International Association of Women Judges, President of Commonwealth Judges and Magistrates in Cameroon, among others.

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