“African countries, particularly those in East Africa, in which Rwanda is a part, should take up the challenenge and take up the cases,” said Wallace Kapaya, a senior ICTR Trial Attorney, when presenting a paper at the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide at the University of Dar es Salaam over the weekend. The Tanzanian lawyer was representing the ICTR Prosecutor, Mr Hassan Jallow, at the occasion, which was attended by legal experts, politicians, academicians and members of the diplomatic corp.
He said that the Rwandan genocide was not solely a Rwandan issue. “It is an East African, and infact an African issue, requiring African solutions,” he stressed.
In fighting the culture of impunity, he stated, much depended on the level of state co-operation, however, adding that those states which fail in their responsibilities need to be encouraged and ultimately coerced into compliance.
Well the problem between Hutu and Tutsi extends further than just Rwanda, I feel that these statements make genocide seem like an “African problem”. Also by couching the issue in geographic localities it stops people from understanding the universality of the issue.
On a separate issue, Rwanda will not finish the trials without the assistance of other countries. Yet, the political and social climates in other nations may not be conducive to effective and fair trials. The DRC for example is not a fair and just nation nor do they look kindly on the Rwandan government. How then would they be effective in carrying out trials?
As far as I can recollect, I don’t remember any other genocide trials occurring in nations outside of where the crimes occurred. Is there precedent for this sort of argument? I’d love to know what you think and if you think this is possible way to stop the problem or a idealistic solution with no real potential!