FILE ID:95052203.AAF




(Shattuck underscores urgent need for justice) (670)

By Louis Segesvary

Special to USIA 

NAIROBI -- In his third visit to Rwanda since the outbreak of the

genocidal killing there in April of 1994, U.S. Assistant Secretary of

State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor John Shattuck has

underscored the urgency of bringing justice to the ravaged nation.

As he committed $3 million additional U.S. financial assistance for

the Rwandan War Crimes Tribunal and $4 million towards re-establishing

its judicial system, Shattuck stated justice was indispensable to

securing peace and stability in Rwanda.

"The first and most important step to reconciliation in Rwanda is

justice," Shattuck told reporters during his May 18-19 visit to


"The principal movers in the genocide must be identified and then

prosecuted so that the cloud of collective guilt and confusion hanging

over Rwanda can be lifted. The Rwandans can then go an rebuilding

their country," he said.

Addressing a special session of the 20-nation Rwanda operational

Support Group which is co-chaired by the United States, Shattuck said

he wanted to express "in the most concrete possible terms the

continuing commitment of the United States government to address the

genocide and human rights catastrophe which Rwanda has suffered, and

our determination to see justice prevail -- so that those who are

responsible for this enormous crime are punished."

The five point assistance program he announced included:

-- a $3 million U.S. cash contribution to the Rwandan War Crimes

Tribunal, equaling the U.S. contribution to the Yugoslavian war Crimes


-- a commitment of U.S. prosecutors and investigators to help staff

the Rwandan Tribunal;

-- a $4 million pledge for the administration of justice in Rwanda, to

assist the Rwandan Ministry of Justice and the International Committee

for the Red Cross (ICRC);

-- an additional substantial contribution for the U.N. Commission on

Human Rights Field Office in Rwanda;

-- a pledge to supply the International War Crimes Tribunal with all

U.S. intelligence and other information concerning genocide and crimes

against humanity in Rwanda that might be relevant for prosecution of

the criminal leaders who will be the targets of the Tribunal's work.

To date, the United States has contributed $274 million for

humanitarian programs in Rwanda, $4 million to rebuild government

ministries, $2.5 million to pay World Bank arrears, and $860,000 for

the human rights field office. In addition, the U.S. has dispatched a

large Defense Department de-mining team to Rwanda and is providing

vehicles, commodities, and rehabilitation assistance to the Rwandan


During his Kigali visit, Shattuck met with the leaders of the Rwandan

government, including President Bizimungu, Vice President Kagama,

Prime Minister Twagiramungu, and Justice Minister Nkubito. He also

visited the Kigali prison and met with representatives of the ICRC to

discuss urgent measures to address inhumane prison conditions and

overcrowding. In addition, he held meetings with the U.N. Secretary

General's representative to Rwanda Sherijah Khan, and with U.N.

officials at the human rights field office.

In Nairobi Shattuck told journalists at the USIS American center his

meetings in Rwanda had focused on the urgency for concerted action in

three specific areas:

-- making the procedures and criteria for legal arrest clear and

transparent, with arresting officials to be accountable to civilian

prosecutors and the Justice Ministry.

-- reducing prison overcrowding through measures proposed by the ICRC

and through a review of prisoners' cases.

-- appointing and training magistrates and courts, with the potential

use of foreign magistrates by the Rwandan government on an emergency


Shattuck noted that the Rwandan government agreed to review these

areas and to work to implement measures to improve the justice system.

He said that he had received the Rwanda government's commitment to

prosecute soldiers and officials who commit crimes. "These are

important elements in the ongoing and very difficult effort to end

impunity and restore justice in Rwanda so that the process of national

reconciliation can begin," Mr. Shattuck concluded.