United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced his appointment of Mr. Abubacarr Marie Tambadou of the Republic of The Gambia as the new Registrar of the Mechanism, effective 1 July 2020.

Mr. Tambadou will succeed Mr. Olufemi Elias of Nigeria, who has served as Registrar since January 2017. The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Mr. Elias for his "dedicated service to the Residual Mechanism and international criminal justice".

Mr. Tambadou has been the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Republic of The Gambia since February 2017, where he spearheaded important human rights and justice reforms. Before then, he was the Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Mechanism between 2012 and 2017, where he was involved in the operationalization efforts of the Mechanism’s Arusha and The Hague branches. Prior to this, he served as Trial Attorney in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) between 2003 and 2008, and as ICTR Appeals Counsel between 2008 and 2012.

In 2019, Mr. Tambadou was elected as Chair of the African Union Specialized Technical Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, having in 2018 been elected by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as Chair of the OIC Ad Hoc Ministerial Committee on Accountability for Human Rights Violations Against the Rohingya. Mr. Tambadou is also a member of the High Level Group on Justice for Women, convened by UN Women, the International Development Law Organization, and the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies.

President Agius has welcomed the appointment of Mr. Tambadou, stating: “I am sure that Mr. Tambadou’s impressive credentials and experience will serve him and the Mechanism extremely well in his new role as Registrar. I look forward to working closely with him as a fellow Principal of this institution, as the Mechanism continues to navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and to fulfil its vital mandate as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

President Agius also acknowledged “the efforts of Mr. Elias and his numerous contributions to the Mechanism over the last three and a half years, including his dedication in advancing gender equality”, wishing him the very best in his future endeavours.

Prosecutor Brammertz joined the President in welcoming Mr. Tambadou’s appointment, noting: “At this critical moment in the Mechanism’s mandate, particularly following the arrest of Félicien Kabuga, it is vital that the prosecutors, Judges and defence counsel receive the full support they need. My Office and I have no doubt that Mr. Tambadou, an accomplished international litigator, will ably lead the Registry moving forward and work in close cooperation with the other two Principals.”