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United Nations: Mandate of Tribunals on Rwanda and Balkans War Crimes Extended

(Jan. 15, 2010) On December 16, 2009, the United Nations Security Council extended until the end of 2012 the mandates of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, in the Hague) and for Rwanda (ICTR, in Arusha, Tanzania). Previously, the two bodies had until June 30, 2010, for appeals procedures to be concluded and for the trial judges to complete adjudication. The purpose of the tribunals is to address the worst of the atrocities committed in the 1990s in the Balkan states' conflicts and in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. (Security Council Lengthens UN Tribunals for War Crimes in Balkans and Rwanda, UN NEWS CENTRE, Dec. 16, 2009, available at

The ICTY has indicted 163 people (two remain at large); the ICTR, 81 (11 are at large). Of nine cases (involving 24 defendants) now being tried before the ICTY, “[f]ive trials are expected to be completed during 2010, three during 2011, and the remaining case – that of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic – should be completed in late 2012,” ICTY President Judge Patrick Robinson was quoted as saying. (Id.)

The ICTR has completed handling 49 cases, among which there are nine pending appeals and eight acquittals; 26 prosecutions are in progress. Two recently arrested indictees are now awaiting trial, the U.N. reported. (Id.) (See also, for example, Constance Johnson, Former Governor Found Guilty, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, July 16, 2009, available at //; Constance Johnson, War Crimes Judges' Terms Extended, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR, July 10, 2009, available at //