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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
More judges for Rwanda's genocide
Man clearing up the victims' bones
Rwanda is still recovering from the genocide
The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to add extra judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to speed up the trials of genocide suspects.

A pool of 18 temporary judges will be set up to help out the court's current 16 permanent judges, the UN says.

Wanted poster for Rwandan suspect
The US is putting up the money to find genocide suspects
The tribunal, set up in 1995 and based in Arusha, Tanzania, is dealing with the cases of major figures accused of being behind the 1994 genocide in Rwanda in which over 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed.

The court has worked very slowly and so far only eight people have been convicted of genocide-related crimes and one person has been acquitted.

The announcement of the additional judges follows the news of the arrest in Angola of one of the alleged leaders of the 1994 genocide.

General Augustin Bizimungu, Rwanda's military head during the genocide, will soon be transferred to the Arusha tribunal, a spokesman has said.

The Rwandan Government is involved in a dispute with the tribunal over the pace of justice and over what its chief prosecutor, Gerard Gahima, says is a failure of the tribunal to protect witnesses testifying against those accused of crimes.

Mr Gahima has said the tribunal is badly managed, according to Reuters news agency.


The chief prosecutor of the tribunal, Carla del Ponte, told the UN Security Council in July that Rwanda had stopped cooperating with the tribunal.

She said the Tutsi-led government there did not want tribunal staff to investigate allegations of crimes by its supporters during the genocide.

UN chief prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte
Del Ponte defends the tribunal's record

Kingsley Moghalu, the tribunal's chief spokesman, told the BBC Focus on Africa that Mr Bizimungu was one of the alleged masterminds of the genocide, accused of arming and training the militias.

He will be charged with genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, Mr Moghalu said.

In an earlier interview with the BBC, Mr Moghalu said that the tribunal had 53 suspects in detention, 17 of whom were on trial and the remainder awaiting trial.

He defended the slowness of the court, saying that international justice "is a very special kind of justice, it is very unique, it is perfectionist".

He said it could take up to seven more years to complete the trials of the genocide suspects currently being held.

The search for perpetrators of the genocide continues, with the United States offering a reward of up to $5m for information leading to arrests.

Kingsley Moghalu, Special Council ICTR
"This is a major breakthrough"

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