Batya Friedman: Good, I’m Batya Friedman, I’m a professor at the University of Washington, and I’m here with Judge Don Horowitz and Max Andrews is our cameraperson. It is October . . .
BF: 28, 2008 and we are here interviewing the Registrar of the ICTR. So I’m going to ask you to say your name please, and your title, and the country you come from.
Adama Dieng is my name. I was born in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, which is a French speaking country. And I have been appointed in this position as United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Registrar of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since February 2001.
BF: Great. Maybe c-, just say a little bit about what, as the registrar, what are your responsibilities for the tribunal?
The Registrar is one of the three organs of the tribunal, the two others being the Chambers and the Office of the Prosecutor. His main role is to provide support to the Chambers and to the Office of the Prosecutor, by recruiting staff, giving admin assistance, recruiting also the lawyers for the defense of the accused. And also supervising the detention facility, providing also support to witnesses who are travelling from all around the world to, to Arusha for the sake of justice.
I may say that by the end of 2008, for instance, we have brought to Arusha about 2,000 witnesses from more than 36 countries. And this is a huge service, but it is worth. Because unless you provide the accused with the support they need you cannot talk about a fair trial and this has been of course been a very, I would say, difficult issue but we did manage.
I believe that whenever you bring a witness from a refugee camp, for instance, you would have to send someone down to that country to negotiate with the government, to get travel document for that witness, then you will return, escort that witness to Arusha, take him back to Arusha, to, to, to the place he or she came from.
That, for security reason, because most of these witnesses they are either people with illegal status in their cou-, the country where they are, or they are ref-, they have refugee status. But it is much easier when it comes to witnesses coming from within Rwanda, because there the government helps a lot.
Although, at some stage we faced problem with the Government of Rwanda, problems of cooperation, and this was as a result of some claims made by Ibuka, which is one of the survivors group. That’s something we will elaborate further.