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Press Releases 2008

U.S. Deputy Solicitor General visits Tanzania to explore areas of mutual interest and understanding

July 1, 2008

U.S. Deputy Solicitor General, Edwin Kneedler is in the country on a one-week consultation with high ranking government of Tanzania officials in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs as well as the University of Dar es Salaam’s Law School.

According to a statement from the American Embassy, the purpose of the consultations is to gain a better understanding of the Tanzanian judicial system on the Mainland and in Zanzibar. Kneedler’s consultations are an effort to increase understanding of how the Tanzanian judicial system functions, including areas of similarities and differences, with the United States judicial system.

Kneedler met with the National Organization of Legal Assistance and Dr. Sengondo Mvungi, Lecturer of Constitutional Affairs at the University of Dar es Salaam on Mainland. In Zanzibar he met with the Mufti of Zanzibar Sheikh Harith bin Khelef, Mufti’s Secretary Sheikh Fadhil Suleiman Soraga, former Deputy Attorney General, Judge Omar Makungu, and the Honorable Othman Haroub Othman, Director of Public Prosecution. He is also expected to travel to Dodoma to meet with the Speaker of Parliament, the Honorable Samuel Sitta; the Attorney General of Tanzania, the Honorable Johnson Mwanyika, and the Minister of Justice, the Honorable Mathias Chikawe.

The statement further notes that Kneedler has supervisory responsibilities for a number of subject areas in the docket of the United States Government's cases before the Supreme Court, including constitutional and other challenges to agency programs, immigration law, federal benefits, natural resources, Native American law, and some international law issues. He is also responsible for assisting the Solicitor General in deciding whether to take appeals in the lower courts in those areas. He is a 1967 graduate of Lehigh University with a B.S. in Economics, and a 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School.

Last November, the Acting Assistant Attorney General of the United States Rena Comisac and a delegation of U.S. Department of Justice officials visited Tanzania on a five-day official visit. Beyond government officials, Comisac raised trafficking in persons with partners from international organizations such as IOM and UNICEF, local NGOs such as KIWOHEDE and Child in the Sun, and visited shelters for rescued victims.