Encounters with conflict and peace

Has gacaca delivered justice?

UN Tribunal Rwanda
UN War Crimes Tribunal for Rwanda >>
Prosecuted 40 suspects
Cost US$ 1 billion
Gacaca courts, Rwanda
Gacaca community courts >>
Processed 400,000 suspects
Cost US$ 55 million
“Gacaca's unique in the world in terms of its scale. No country has tried to do justice on this kind of level.

We’ve seen 400,000 suspects go through this process in the space of nine years. 11,000 communities have been involved right across the Rwandan countryside. And incredibly, this system which has prosecuted all those people in that period of time, has only cost about US$ 55 million.

So this is a very cheap and very efficient way of doing justice. And we should contrast that with the UN war crimes tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, which so far has prosecuted about 40 high level suspects of the genocide at a cost to the international community of about US$ 1 billion. What Rwanda has done on a shoestring budget is quite remarkable.”

- Phil Clark

Healthy but very, very difficult

"I think for everyday Rwandans, being honest and being confronting about the past is a very difficult process. I think in Rwanda there's a sense amongst everyday people that this is the only way to go about it. That people have to be honest about the tragedies that they've been through, but for a lot of people that's also a difficult process.

For everyday Rwandans that means having to talk about very traumatic experiences that people have been though. It means having to relive the memories that people have of the genocide in 94. And that brings a lot of emotional turmoil to a lot of people.

So on one hand I think most Rwandans will agree that dealing with the genocide and talking about it is a really healthy thing but at the same time there's a traumatic element to this. It is very, very difficult to a lot of people." - Phil Clark

< previous page    |    next page >