Decision 3 (54) on Rwanda : Rwanda. 19/03/99.
Convention Abbreviation: CERD
COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION
OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Decision 3 (54) on Rwanda
1. The Committee recalls its earlier decisions on Rwanda under the early warning and urgent action procedures, notably its decision 5 (53) of 19 August 1998, which it reconfirms.
2. The Committee is aware that the security conditions in the country are closely linked with the security conditions in the Great Lakes region as a whole. In this connection the Committee is profoundly disturbed by the flow of arms into and within the Central African subregion, which is a major cause of insecurity and instability. The Committee repeats its call on all States to enforce arms embargos in the region.
3. The Committee remains deeply concerned at the continued serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the country, and notably of the provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, in particular those set out in article 5, paragraphs (a) and (b), relating to the right to equal treatment before the tribunals and the right to security of person and the protection by the State against violence or bodily harm.
4. The Committee supports and encourages the efforts of the Government of Rwanda to prosecute gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by certain parts of its armed forces and stresses the need to increase the capacity of the Rwandan Patriotic Army to conduct internal investigations and bring accused persons to trial with due respect for basic fair trial guarantees.
5. The Committee welcomes progress in the administration of justice and the growing number of judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers taking part in administering justice, but it is aware of the immense needs and problems to meet the requirements of an expeditious, effective and fair justice system. The Committee appeals to the United Nations, Governments, as well as other organs of civil society, to continue to help strengthening the justice system of Rwanda.
6. The Committee repeats its regret that the mandate of the United Nations Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda has come to an end and calls again on the State party and the United Nations to renew on an urgent basis their discussions aimed at ensuring an international monitoring presence in the country.
7. The Committee urges the State party to take all necessary measures to expedite the creation of the long-awaited National Human Rights Commission which should be an independent institution in accordance with the international principles relating to the development of independent, broadly based and pluralistic national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights.
8. The Committee welcomes the readiness of the State party to continue the dialogue with the Committee and stresses the need that the situation in the country be further and thoroughly examined in the light of its earlier decisions and on the basis of the twelfth periodic report (comprising also the eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh periodic reports) due on 16 May 1998. The Committee decides to schedule this examination at its fifty sixth session.
19 March 1999