Donald J Horowitz: I need to, I want to ask you about one of the very important things you did among many I’m sure: the witness protection program. You – as you, I think you said you designed that program . . .
DJH: . . . for the, for the ICTR and for the Rwandan – for justice relative to Rwanda and what happened. Can you tell us please your, your story of how you did that . . .
DJH: . . . and w-, and what you were thinking, what your considerations were.
This, the story of creating the witness protection program is for me my most successful story which show me how much I have contributed to the work of this tribunal. Because I came – I joined the tribunal – I got my offer some, some time in May/June ‘96 and my office did not want to let me go immediately.
DJH: You, your private office or?
. . . in what we called at that time The UN High Commissioners’ Field Operation in Rwanda; UNHRFOR. And I was the head of the Kigali office and I was head of that office for over two years. And that office were playing, was playing the key role because the capital city you have to entertain the diplomatic world; the government, everything that is a power center in Rwanda.
So it was quite, quite great. And I never applied for the job per se to come and work to the tribunal to begin with, because I used to provide briefing to certain people of the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda, UNAMIR. And those fellow top senior officials of that mission happened to appreciate my briefing to them on the situation of human rights.
So one of the executive directors of that mission, one day called me and said, “Could you come and have lunch with me?” because I often go and have lunch with him. And I went and he said, “Look, you have done a very good job for us,” because there was at that time in la-, late ’94, early ‘95 a trend of Rwandan citizens seeking refuge in UN offices in Kigali or elsewhere throughout the country.
And we did not know how to address that issue. And there was a need to adopt a policy. So the mission assigned me to think about that policy and I drafted the policy covering the Rwandans seeking refuge in UN offices for protection purposes. So my policy was reviewed along with proposals from the legal staff of the UNAMIR, meaning the UN Assistance Mission in Rwanda, their offices. And we work to finalize it and then it was adopted . . .
Note: The remaining portion of video for Part 7 was lost due to corrupted digital files. A second interview with Mr. Amoussouga occurred on October 30, 2008 and begins with Part 8.