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U.N. to Split War Crimes Prosecutor's Job

The Security Council voted unanimously Thursday to split the job of chief war crimes prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, allowing a new prosecutor to handle cases from Rwanda’s 1994 genocide while she focuses on the Balkans. The resolution, sponsored by the United States, sets out a timetable for completing the work of both the Rwanda and Yugoslav tribunals by 2010. The tribunals “can most efficiently and expeditiously meet their respective responsibilities if each has its own prosecutor,” the council said. Since September 1999, Del Ponte has been responsible for trying those accused of major war crimes during the Balkan wars in the 1990s and leaders of the genocide in Rwanda that killed more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and Hutu political moderates. She opposed splitting the job. Many countries argue that the Rwandan tribunal, based in Arusha, Tanzania, has not made as much progress as the Yugoslav tribunal. A variety of reasons have been cited, from bureaucratic inefficiency to friction with the Rwandan government, staff shortage and insufficient attention from Del Ponte’s staff in The Hague, Netherlands. Full Story

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