Alfred Kwende
Acting Chief of Investigations
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About this Video

Country of Origin:
Cameroon
Interview Date:
October 28, 2008
Location:
Kigali, Rwanda
Interviewer:
Lisa P. Nathan
Videographer:
Nell Carden Grey
Timestamp:
0:01 - 5:38

Transcript

0:00
Lisa P. Nathan: Thank you so much for your time, very appreciative . . .
0:03
Thank you Lisa.
0:03
LPN: . . . and I would like to begin by having you say your name, your country of origin, your home country and your title here at the ICTR.
0:17
Okay, my name is Alfred Kwende. I come from Cameroon, embedded in the heart of central Africa (_), of central Africa, and I am called Commander of Investigations, but at present I’m actually deputizing and acting as Chief of Investigations because the post was scrapped off as a result of the completion strategy. But I fulfill and have full responsibility and prerogatives of the Chief of Investigations.
1:04
LPN: Could you tell me your timeline here with the ICTR? What year you began, the different jobs you have held during your time here and how long you’ve had them?
1:18
I’ve been here since the 25th of October, 1998 and I was recruited as Commander of Investigations. At the time I came in, there were three commanders provided and I was Chief of Investigations, so the four of us made up the main core management staff of the Investigations Division. The – under each of the commanders were a number of teams, three at least.
1:58
Eventually later on there was the inclusion of a fourth commander who didn’t exercise for too long and for the specialized activities of, of tracking. But in reality, the Commander position is almost that of a Deputy Chief of Investigations, because the workload was heavy and there was a specificity of the nature of activities were new to the United Nations, that structure was put in place. Yeah.
2:39
LPN: And you held that position and you became deputized when? For the two . . .
2:46
Well I acted in that position from 1998 to end of two, of 2005. It may be put in perspective that with the completion strategy of a tribunal, they had to start downsizing and trying to streamline. The post of a Chief of Investigations was either scrapped off – I wouldn’t know how or what to say or scrapped (___), or taken off the list in order to respond to the reduced structure of investigations at the end of 2005.
3:35
So from 6th January, 2006, I have been acting as Chief of Investigations and this was by decision of the Prosecutor and I received a letter to that effect and the content actually said, “You (___) have the full authority and prerogatives of a Chief of Investigations.” So it was only for convenience that the post was taken off but the activities and the duties, the responsibilities remain the same.
4:12
LPN: Your shoulders are heavy.
4:15
Well l wouldn’t say, but I try as much as possible to earn them.
4:21
LPN: Can you take me back a little bit further? Do you remember where you were in the spring of 1994?
4:30
Oh, spring of 1994, I was back in my home, in Cameroon and I was an Inspector General of Police, law enforcement. And little did I know that I would get involved in the activities here but I did follow from a distance. It was shocking, it was horrifying but it didn’t strike me as an activity in which I would get involved at some stage.
5:00
LPN: How did you first hear about the ICTR?
5:05
Well, I know shortly after that recruitments were being done and the post of Commander was open on that advert which I saw in Cameroon. I postulated and sent in my credentials and was later interviewed and retained for the job.