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UN special adviser welcomes start of trial for top genocide suspect in Rwanda – Global Affairs

The opening statement in the case against Félicien Kabuga is set for Thursday and Friday at the United Nations International Remaining Mechanism for Criminal Courts. (IRMCT), located in The Hague.

According to his indictment, Mr. Kabuga was the founder of the radio station Radio Television Libre des Mille CollinesTheir broadcasts fueled hatred and violence against the Tutsi ethnic group and others.

He is charged with genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, political repression, extermination and murder as crimes against him. mankind again.

Prevention and Accountability

“Our collective commitment does not forget to constitute a commitment to prevent“The United Nations Special Adviser on Genocide, Alice Wairimu Nderitu, said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“Accountability itself is a prevention and therefore a deterrent to future crimes,” she added.

Ms. Nderitu said fair and trustworthy judicial proceedings can also provide victims with a form of redress for the serious and systematic violations of human rights and humanitarian law they are experiencing. suffered.

They can also help prevent and deal with feelings of frustration and bitterness, and a desire to retaliate.

However, when justice is not served, lingering perceptions of injustice can become a risk factor for subsequent violence and possible, brutal crimeshe warned.

Collective responsibility

The Special Counsel commended the important work of the UN Mechanism in ensuring accountability for serious international crimes, including in light of Mr. Kabuga’s alleged role in the genocide. against the Tutsis in Rwanda, in which Hutu, Twa and others protested peaceful genocide. , were killed.

Ms. Nderitu emphasized that hate speech contributes to mistrust between communities. It also provides food for what she calls “A ‘us versus them’ story” and erode social cohesion between communities. In its most severe forms, hate speech can lead to incitement to violence and even genocide.

Her commitment to stopping atrocities requires all parties involved to take appropriate measures against hate speech and incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, she said.

“Literally all atrocities are preceded by hate speech. Therefore, it is It is our responsibility to pay special attention to this phenomenon if we are truly committed to preventing atrocities,” she added.

Support the UN Mechanism

Mr. Kabunga was arrested in Paris in May 2020 by French authorities as a result of a joint investigation with the IRMCT.

At the time, he was among the world’s top fugitives and was wanted by the United Nations Mechanism since 2013.

The IRMCT performs essential functions previously performed by the international tribunal for Rwanda, which closed in December 2015 and another for the former Yugoslavia, which ended two years later.

Ms. Nderitu called on states to continue to cooperate fully with the IRMCT in the identification, arrest, detention, surrender and transfer of those still major accused.

She also called on the international community to step up efforts to address and combat hate speech and prevent incitement to violence, in line with UN action plans.

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