The mandate of the United Nations-backed International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha has been extended by a year until the end of 2009 for trials of first instance and by two years until the end of 2010 for appeals. Judges had originally been scheduled to complete their work by the end of this year. However, the extension became necessary following the arrest of two top-level genocide suspects at the end of 2007 and of a third suspect in early 2008. Their trials could begin before the end of this year but are unlikely to reach a verdict before the latter part of 2009.

Rwanda has objected to the extension, arguing that the resources needed to maintain the court could be better used to strengthen the country

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