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Never Again Rwanda


As April approaches, we cannot help but  remember that most tragic April for Rwanda. It is an April that will remain in our minds forever. I choose to remember by reminding us on the "never again" dictum. It must resound in us. I choose to remember by appreciating what has been done in Rwanda. I choose to remember by pointing at what can be done for Rwanda. It has never been any easy fro Rwanda but the country has made significant strides. But a lot more can be done to ensure that indeed we live the "never again."

Daunting Challenge 

Deliverance of justice for mass atrocities like the Rwandan genocide can be a daunting challenge in any country. The scale of the Rwandan genocide would have overwhelmed even the best equipped judicial systems. The task was made even more difficult since actually many judicial officials had been killed or displaced and infrastructure destroyed. It is commendable that in the jus post bellum endeavours by Rwanda, government was able to embark on an ambitious and unprecedented approach to ensuring justice after genocide through the use of both conventional criminal justice systems and the community-based Gacaca courts. Through such initiatives a lot has been achieved in post-conflict reconstruction of Rwanda.

Equal Justice for All

Whereas Rwanda has had such an impressive record in bringing to justice perpetrators of the genocide, still a lot needs to be done to ensure healing, reconciliation and lasting peace and long term stability. There is genuine concern that not much has been done to members of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) who took part in revenge killings. The killings by RPF were not in any way equivalent to the genocide, but the victims and their families have a right to see justice done as well in order to foster comprehensive healing and reconciliation and equal justice and peace for all. Rwanda should not shy away from this venture since indeed it is one of the surest ways of ensuring stability and peace beyond the RPF regime. 


Although Rwanda has certainly made strides in the post genocide justice and reconciliation process not all the survivors have benefited from reparations which is important in the reconstruction process. There is need therefore to address the issue of reparation for the benefit of both survivors and perpetrators. Reparations can lead to a more empowered and positive social identity through three processes: social capital bonding, social capital bridging and dialogue. These three processes are linked and work together through the social psychology of participation. One way to prioritize the issue is to establish a reparations task force, as various organisations in Rwanda have suggested. From the experience of Rwanda, it is important that future genocide courts give options besides monetary reparations for the road to redemption and reconciliation. Given the success of community initiatives driven by reparations more support for community-based organisations and associations is necessary to create the receptive social contexts to achieve long term post-conflict justice and reconciliation.
Never Again Rwanda Never Again Rwanda Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on March 18, 2016 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Yes never again! however, truth is one of core elements of reconciliation. the ideal reconciliation is achieved only when 100% of truth is known to people, and together with justice, Mercy and peace considered as three other core elements of reconciliation also play their role. you dont pretend to achieve reconciliation when only 50 % of truth is told yet everyone knows about the remaining 50% that should be kept quiet.


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