Encounters with conflict and peace

Punishment v compensation

“By using this community form of justice, Rwanda has been experimenting with a system that no other country has been prepared to do.

Phil Clark is a young Australian academic who has followed the gacaca process closely. "In trying to do justice on such a scale, Rwanda hasn’t been able to deliver exactly the form of justice that a lot of genocide survivors would like.” It’s tended to use community service or compensation as punishment. But in a country where most people are very poor, that can be very complicated.

Josephine lost more than 60 relatives in the genocide…

Gacaca: what do the survivors think?

Rwanda has focused on community service or compensation as punishment, but many genocide survivors wanted more than that. They would have liked harsher sentences for the perpetrators - more people being publicly shamed and put back in jail…
Related pages
My friend the killer
Before the genocide, Josephine became friends with one of the interahamwe militia. "I ran into a group of them armed with machetes and grenades. They started pushing me around...
A good man
Josephine tells the story of how her father was killed during the genocide.
"We know you're a good person but we have orders to kill you, so this is what we're going to do...
An overloaded justice system
Josephine was part of a team which educated communities about the need for a new restorative justice system. “Traditionally, when someone did something bad, he was brought to the community to explain what he had done - and why he did it - and the community would decide how to deal with that.” ...
Teaching gacaca
The introduction of gacaca had unexpected results, according to Josephine. Prisoners would point to someone in the audience and say, “Why is he not in prison too? You’re asking us to tell the truth. We were in the killings together..."
Long term effects of genocide
Josephine said, "What is being done in the healing work is like a drop in the ocean. So there are still people who haven’t yet been given the opportunity to talk about their stories and now, after more than 10 years, it is becoming too much..."
watch video

< previous page    |    next page >