Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Community Cooperation, Dr. Augustine Mahiga, has called on UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT) to continue tracking the last fugitives from justice of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and to ensure the genocide does not happen again.
Speaking at the IRMCT Grounds in Lakilaki, Arusha, Ambassador Mahiga, said it was unfortunate that the genocide happened in Africa, adding that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the precursor to the Mechanism, was established in Arusha, Tanzania, to address the injustices occasioned by the genocide and ensure that it is not repeated.
Further called on the Mechanism to engage in capacity building in law, prosecution and related areas for national judiciaries and regional courts in Africa, adding that Mechanism was a repository of information for all and a centre of excellence from which the world will continue to learn about genocide.
“Issues of human rights were inseparable from the rule of law and democracy, and that this was the essence for the establishment by the African Union of the African Court for Human and Peoples Rights. There were many yawning gaps with regard to human rights in several African countries, adding that respect for human rights was a value that should be institutionalized, nurtured and passed on to future generations,” He said.
The Minister under whose docket EAC Affairs falls urged EAC Partner States to deepen cooperation in areas of good governance, human rights, democracy and social justice, adding that all protocols touching on these areas should be revisited and revitalized.
“Government of Tanzania was cognizant of the various challenges facing the many international organizations in Arusha, adding that his Ministry would continue to work closely with them to resolve the outstanding administrative issues,”
Speaking at the event, EAC Secretary General Amb. Liberat Mfumukeko said that the EAC would continue focusing on opening up markets to enhance trade and free movement of persons, improving the business climate to enable the development and competitiveness of the private sector and make the region an attractive investment destination, in order to spur economic growth and generate additional incomes for EAC citizens.
“Going forward, the Community has already mobilized more than US$2.5 billion in funding for various development projects in the Partner States, projects that will be implemented within the next three to five years in health, education, agriculture and other sectors,” said Amb. Mfumukeko.
In his remarks, Mr. Olufemi Elias, the Registrar of IRMCT and the host of the event, said that the diversity of the organizations that make up the international community in Arusha is what inspired international organizations to share a common objective to reinforce their connections with one another and even more importantly with the local community by offering insights into their mandates and functions in the spirit of partnership.
“As a concept, the International Organizations Open Day has generated a lot enthusiasm and excitement within participating organizations as well as the general public. This has inspired us as international organizations to increase interactions in order to bridge the gap between the international organizations and the local community,” said Mr. Olufemi.