Gacaca rechtbanken in Rwanda: Gerechtigheid en verzoening voor genocide-overlevenden?

Gacaca, the local courts in Rwanda, officially closed on 18 June 2012. Launched in 2001 and after some ten years of existence, 1 million genocidaires have been prosecuted before more than 11,000 gacaca courts for crimes committed during the Rwandan 1994 genocide. What have these courts (not) achieved, against the objectives it was set up for in the first place? Although much has been said and written on gacaca, these contributions often did not evaluate gacaca based on the objectives it was set up for placed in the context of the post-genocide era in which the economic, social and legal fabric was completely destroyed. Now that gacaca has officially closed down, this lecture brings the achievements and downsides of gacaca together from the perspective of genocide survivors – interviewed by the lecturer – with this purpose in mind. It provides, inter alia, insight into how changing circumstances (e.g. the passing of time, a better understanding of the gacaca courts, an improved security situation, an increased level of the most basic human needs, but also the role of religion) may influence the way survivors of international crimes evaluate gacaca. The speaker also discusses the question of how to move on now that gacaca courts have officially closed down, including the issue of reparation to survivors.

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