William and Mary Law School

My First Week at the ICTR

So I have been in Africa for a little over a week now and have started my first day of work at the UN ICTR yesterday. Unfortunately I have been unable to update the blog sooner because acquiring internet access for an extended period of time has been very difficult while in Africa.  But now since I have acquired a Vodafone internet USB stick I can receive internet where I'm living so it will be a little easier to update the blog.

The flight to Africa was very long; it took almost twenty four hours to get to Ethiopia after a brief layover in Frankfurt Germany. Once in Ethiopia I had a chance to visit my relatives and recover from Jet lag (Ethiopia and Tanzania are both 7 hours ahead from EST). After leaving Ethiopia I arrived in Tanzania about a week ago then I drove about an hour south to Arusha. So as of today I have been in Arusha for about a week and I'm starting to figure out the layout of the city and get adjusted to life in Africa.  

I arrived at the ICTR this past Monday, and there were already ten new interns already waiting in line to get their UN ID badges that allow one to gain access to the building. If I had to guess I'd say there are about 40 or so new interns, and there are 20 interns alone working on this one big case. There is a lot of security at the ICTR pretty much every door one enters you have to swipe your badge to gain access. After getting my badge and clearing security which took forever I was able to meet with my supervisors and we discussed a little bit about what I'll be doing this summer. In the meeting they told me that I will be working on the Munyakazi Case which is a case that has concluded litigation but now the Judges are deliberating and in the process of delivering the final judgment. Without getting into too much detail another intern and I will be revising the first draft of this final judgment and also cite checking the first draft of the judgment to make sure the witness testimony corresponds with the right footnotes. Another intern and I have been assigned to Munyakazi case and next week there are parts of the judgment the judges are still deliberating on so we get to sit on the deliberations which should be a great experience. There are three judges in this case and the presiding judge is Florence Rita Arrey from Cameroon. Anyway now that I'm fairly adjusted and work has started I'm definitely going to try and do a little traveling on the weekends. So I'll try to update the blog with pictures from my travels.

So until next time,

Brook