United Nations Security Council Resolution 955

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UN Security Council
Resolution 955
ICTR in Kigali.jpg
ICTR building in the Rwandan capital Kigali
Date 8 November 1994
Meeting no. 3,453
Code S/RES/955 (Document)
Subject Rwanda
Voting summary
13 voted for
1 voted against
1 abstained
Result Adopted
Security Council composition
Permanent members
Non-permanent members

United Nations Security Council resolution 955, adopted on 8 November 1994, after recalling all resolutions on Rwanda, the Council noted that serious violations of international humanitarian law had taken place in the country and, acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).[1]

The Security Council appreciated the work of the Commission of Experts established in Resolution 935 (1994), and expressed its concern at reports of genocide and other widespread violations of international humanitarian law had taken place in Rwanda. It stated that the situation constituted a threat to international peace and security and was determined to put an end to such crimes and bring those responsible to justice in order to restore peace. The Council believed that the establishment of an international tribunal would ensure that such violations are halted and addressed. In this regard, the need for international co-operation to strengthen the judicial system in Rwanda was stressed.

The ICTR and its Statute were established after noting the request by the Government of Rwanda to create an international tribunal for the prosecution of serious violations of international humanitarian law in Rwanda between 1 January and 31 December 1994. All countries were urged to co-operate with the ICTR and its organs and to take measures under domestic law to implement the present resolution. Funds, equipment and services to the tribunal were also requested in order to support the process. The Rwandan government would be notified before decisions were taken concerning the enforcement or commutation of sentences under Articles 26 and 27 of the Statute of the International Tribunal for Rwanda.[2]

The Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali was requested to ensure the immediate implementation of the current resolution and to make arrangements for the functioning of the tribunal, including recommendations regarding the location of the ICTR. This would be determined with regard to considerations of justice and fairness as well as administrative efficiency, access to witnesses and economy. It also noted that the ICTR may meet away from its seat to discuss its functions. The Council concluded by stating that the number of judges and trial chambers may be increased when necessary.

Resolution 955 was adopted by 13 votes in favour and 1 vote against from Rwanda, while China abstained from the vote.[3] Though Rwanda had supported its inception, it opposed the resolution as it felt the period covered by the tribunal, from 1 January to 31 December 1994, was inadequate and should have been extended to 1 October 1990 when hostilities began. It also rejected the absence of capital punishment in the clauses of the Statue; that it should be a separate entity with its own Appeals Chamber and Prosecutor; that it should only prosecute for genocide and crimes against humanity; that those prosecuted by the tribunal could be imprisoned in third countries; that decisions concerning the enforcement or commutation of sentences should not be the responsibility of third countries; and that its seat should be in Rwanda.[4] China abstained from the vote, viewing the genocide as an internal matter for Rwanda.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heyns, Christof (1999). Human rights law in Africa. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. p. 8. ISBN 978-90-411-1849-3. 
  2. ^ Klip, André; Sluiter, Göran (2003). Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Intersentia nv. p. 239. ISBN 978-90-5095-319-1. 
  3. ^ Boot, Machteld (2002). Genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes: nullum crimen sine lege and the subject matter jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Intersentia nv. p. 227. ISBN 978-90-5095-216-3. 
  4. ^ T.M.C. Asser Instituut (1998). Yearbook of international humanitarian law, Volume 1. Cambridge University Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 978-90-6704-107-2. 
  5. ^ Schabas, William (2006). The UN international criminal tribunals: the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. Cambridge University Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-521-84657-8. 

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