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UN Appoints New Prosecutor for Rwanda Genocide Tribunal - 2003-09-04

The United Nations Security Council has appointed a Gambian judge as prosecutor for the Rwanda genocide tribunal.

During a brief session Thursday, the Security Council unanimously approved Secretary-General Kofi Annan's appointment of Hassan Bubacar Jallow to the Rwanda prosecutor's post. At the same time, prosecutor Carla del Ponte was given a new four-year term as head of the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Jallow's appointment follows the move last week to split the prosecutor's job into two positions. Ms. del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney general, had headed both tribunals since 1999, but some countries had complained that the Rwandan cases were receiving less attention than those from the Balkans.

The Rwanda tribunal is charged with prosecuting cases stemming from the 1994 genocide of an estimated 800,000 minority Tutsis and moderate Hutus by Hutu extremists. The Tanzania-based court has convicted at least seven suspects.

Ms. del Ponte had charged that the Tutsi-dominated government had lobbied to have her removed from the tribunal because of her intention to look into reprisal killings by the Tutsi army that left about 30,000 Hutus dead.

Bubacar Jallow is currently an appeals court judge on the U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone. He was also a supreme court judge in Gambia.