ARUSHA, Tanzania – Developing the knowledge and expertise in investigating and prosecuting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes is the focus of a 10-day course co-hosted by INTERPOL and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Tanzania.
More than 30 law enforcement officers and specialists from 16 countries are taking part in the second such course organized by INTERPOL, with training provided by a wide range of experts from United Nations Tribunals, the International Criminal Court, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other international institutions and national specialized agencies.
Addressing crucial aspects of investigating serious international crimes, participants will be trained in areas including handling witnesses, forensic evidence related to mass atrocities, sexual and gender based violence in conflict situations and issues related to the status of refugees.
The course also aims to prepare participants for possible collaboration with peacekeeping forces that might be deployed in different countries as well as on how to integrate national investigations with investigations carried out by International Courts and Tribunals.Opening the meeting, Mr Adama Dieng, UN Assistant Secretary General and Registrar of the ICTR, saluted the partnership and the close relationship that INTERPOL has maintained with the ICTR over the years, stressing that ‘this partnership has been remarkable and is now characterized by a renewed sense of urgency in strengthening our co-operation for the apprehension of the remaining ten fugitives at this critical juncture of its completion strategy.’
Stefano Carvelli and John Barry of INTERPOL’s Fugitive Investigative Support unit which organized the course, said the meeting was ‘an important measure since investigating genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity is a specialist area that clearly requires specialist training’.
International expert of International Humanitarian Law Professor Ray Murphy from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, said “We can only end impunity when we provide investigators with the training and the knowledge required. INTERPOL is to be commended for organizing a course for this purpose”.
INTERPOL has been supporting member countries and International Criminal Tribunals in this area since 1994, primarily through issuing wanted persons Red Notices and other investigative assistance.
In December 2007, INTERPOL created the Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project following a resolution at its General Assembly that year. It aims to apprehend the fugitives wanted by the ICTR and by Rwandan Judicial Authorities and to date has led to the arrest of six fugitives wanted by the international tribunal.