Some at denial stage of tribunal exit Cant be true! The expected closure of the United Nations Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UN-ICTR) courts is going to badly affect socio-economic status of Arusha City. Local authorities here admit that the town needs to brace for a major economic crisis once the Tribunal closes its operations, sending home over 800 workers, among them 200 Tanzanian employees. We are currently preparing our employees psychologically through counseling sessions to help cushion the shock because there are many who are still living in a sense of denial, said Dr Sarah Kilemi the ICTR Chief Division of Administrative Support Services.She said the Arusha economy will badly be affected by the Tribunal absence and already the ICTR management was working with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to study the expected impact from the courts exit and see how the possible crisis could be reduced. Mr Roland K. Amoussouga the ICTR spokesperson has confirmed that by December this year the work of the Tribunal would be completed by more than 96 percent and that majority of the UN-Court workers, including judges will not be needed anymore. And these were no ordinary employees; the UN-ICTR salary packages were rated in millions not to mention other fat, lucrative pecks. When the Tribunal opened shop here in 1995 it grew to accommodate over 1050 handsomely paid workers directly and through them the Genocide Court extended indirect employment to more than 5000 other local residents . The yearly budget to run the court in Arusha stood at nearly US $ 270 million (446 billion/-). We are helping some of our staff to secure employment elsewhere especially in other UN bodies, Non-Government Institutions and even assist others to start businesses, said Dr Kalemi. An earlier two-year study done by a research expert, Mrs Céline Claire Fomete who collected data from ICTR official documents, ICTR staff members, local businesses and institutions, indicated that more than US $ 30 million (50 billion/-) is injected into the local economy of Arusha every year, due to the presence of the ICTR. Major sectors that have benefitted from this cash inflow directly from ICTR or indirectly from its staff include Real Estate, Education, General business, Health and Insurance. Vehicles of ICTR staff parked in front of the Regional Block as they became too many for the AICC parking lot. (Photo by Raymond John)The ICTR accounts for over 70 percent of the total income of the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) which has been hosting the headquarters of the Tribunal in the two of the three wings of the complex. Already the ICTR has vacated from one of the wings (Serengeti) consolidating its operations in the Kilimanjaro wing where it is also gradually shrinking its occupancy. An average of 60 percent of the houses and flats owned by the Parastatal Pension Fund (PPF) in Arusha are occupied by ICTR staff or consultants. Also an average of US$ 337 000 are paid to landlords for their monthly rent by international staff. Mrs Fomete's study reveals that more than 200 Tanzanian nationals were then employed by the ICTR and have received the equivalent of US$ 6,695,614 of salaries during the period reviewed. Another beneficiary of the ICTR presence is the health industry that has cashed the equivalent of US$ 422,599.06 paid to insurance companies to cater for health services for national staff during the same two year period under study. With regard to the education industry, the ICTR has contributed an amount of US$ 1,920,760.42 to schools operating in Arusha under its Education Grant program for its international staff. To this amount should be added US$ 640, 253.47 incurred by parents and paid directly to the schools. Source;Arushatimes.