Between April and July 1994, one of the largest atrocities of the 20th century occurred: the genocide of 800 000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus during the civil war in Rwanda. The country was inhabited by around 8 million people. This emphasizes the massive aspect of these slaughters. When the RPF finally took power in July and declared a ceasefire, it triggered the exodus of two million Hutus to Zaire. These refugees included many who have since been implicated in the massacres. UN troops and aid workers arrived to help maintain order and restore basic services. UN troops left Rwanda in 1996. Considering that the new government was not a danger for them anymore, the refugees came back gradually. But although the massacres are over, the legacy of the genocide continues, and the search for justice has been a long and arduous one. Thus, more than 10 years after the conflict, the question of justice is still unresolved, and many victims are still waiting for justice.
[...] The victims were still waiting for a fair justice and for reparations. The need of truth to reconcile the country with itself and to understand what really happened was such that the system of gacaca was presented as ideal. In 2001 a new law launched the gacaca system. A gacaca is a popular tribunal in which anyone in the village can intervene during the trial. It is a participative justice since the judges are elected; they are called the Inyangamugayo (« the Uncorrupted »). [...]
[...] It is the first tribunal in the history that is trying to judge genocide. Neither Nuremberg nor the ICTY had been so far. So far, the Tribunal has finished 21 trials and convicted 28 accused persons. Another 11 trials are in progress individuals are awaiting trial in detention; but the prosecutor intends to transfer 5 to national jurisdiction for trial others are still at large, some suspected to be dead. These figures can appear rather small given the number of victims and suspected génocidaires. [...]
[...] The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) was created by the UN Security Council on November in order to judge those people responsible for the acts of genocide and other serious violations of the international law performed in the territory of Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between January 1 and December The ICTR is supposed to judge the « big heads » of the genocide, that is to say the leaders of the killings, such as the military, the political leaders and the « hate media ». It sits in Arusha, Tanzania. [...]
[...] Some peak of violence have been noticed in the east of the counrty in November 2006, these facts are worrisome, because survivors of the genocide weren't used to retaliate before, this is the first time that kind of violence arises out. Theses events are linked to the gacacas. Actually, if the gacaca system seems to work quite well, the authenticity in the relationship between victims and criminals is untrue. Victims cannot forgive, even the more religious cannot forgive the atrocities they underwent. How a widow can forgive the killing of her seven children? [...]
[...] Esther Mujawayo and Souâd Belhaddad (2006), La Fleur de Stéphanie, Rwanda entre réconciliation et déni, Flammarion, p.54 Vénant Ndamage (2004), Rwanda: auto reconciliation et droits citoyens, L'Harmattan, p.157 Rapport OUA in Françoise Digneffe et Jacques Fierens (2003) About the process of the trial, how elected judges and victims are dealing with ex-criminals and how the reintegration of these is, see the documentary film: Gacaca Revivre ensemble au Rwanda? from Anne Aghion (2002). See Anne Aghion (2002), and another documentary film: Rwanda, les collines parlent, from Bernard Bellefroid, (2005). [...]
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