Goldstone presses for war-crimes trial

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The Independent Online
Kigali - Richard Goldstone, the UN war- crimes prosecutor, pressed yesterday for an international tribunal on Rwanda's genocide by the second half of next year. The South African judge said on the final day of his two-day visit to Kigali that the tribunal should meet in a neighbouring neutral country.

In a meeting with the Prime Minister, Faustin Twagiramungu, he stressed the need to move quickly to prosecute the killers and planners of genocide. An official said: "For Judge Goldstone, the most important thing is to show the Rwandan people and the international community that justice is being pursued without impunity."

Before trials started, the tribunal would send a team to Rwanda to consult with the government to produce a memorandum of understanding outlining how prosecutions would proceed. The official said the team should be in Rwanda by early next month. The Rwa n dan government has often stressed the need to set up a tribunal quickly on the genocide of between 500,000 and 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutus between last April and July. Attempts to coax home more than 1 million refugees from neighbouring countries and promote national reconciliation will fail unless justice is seen to be done.

Hutu militiamen and troops loyal to President Juvenal Habyarimana butchered Tutsi in homes, churches and on the streets after the Hutu president was assassinated in April.