U.N. Urges Rwanda's Cooperation
Nov. 17, 1999
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ A U.N. prosecutor urged Rwanda to resume cooperation with a U.N. international tribunal on Wednesday, calling the recent release of a genocide suspect ``a hiccup'' in the judicial process.
Rwanda suspended cooperation in protest after an appeals chamber in The Hague ordered Jean-Bosco Barayagwiza, a top Hutu official accused in the 1994 Rwandan genocide, to be released on procedural grounds.
Nevertheless, Deputy Prosecutor Graham Blewitt said he expected ``a working relationship'' to emerge during the two-week visit to Rwanda and Tanzania by chief prosecutor, Carla del Ponte.
Blewitt sought to reassure the Rwandans that the Barayagwiza decision was an isolated incident.
``There's been this hiccup with the appeals chamber,'' said Blewitt. ``I anticipate that ultimately there will be meetings in Kigali and a working relationship will be developed.''
Last week, Rwandan Justice Minister Jean de Dieu Mucyo said he would refuse to meet with Del Ponte during her visit to protest the Nov. 6 release of Barayagwiza, a former Rwandan Foreign Ministry deputy and official in an extremist Hutu party that helped lead the slaughter of more than a half-million people in Rwanda.
The Kigali government has since requested Barayagwiza's extradition from Tanzania, where the tribunal is seated.