Archives of the National Gacaca Courts Service (SNJG) will be taken over by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) after the closure of the courts, the cabinet meeting approved this week.
Gacaca courts are semi traditional courts introduced by the country to deal with a backlog of close to two million cases of persons suspected of playing a role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. All cases in the Gacaca courts across the country are scheduled to be complete by June this year.
“Gacaca archives will be handed over to the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG)” said a statement from the cabinet.
The meeting also heard details of the closure of Gacaca courts and unveiled the closing strategy of the courts.
“The closing ceremony will be presided over by President Paul Kagame and will be attended by representatives of the Gacaca judges,” reads the statement.
The exercise will also be held at the sector level across the country so that citizens take part in the closure.
According to its completion strategy, all trials before Gacaca courts including those on appeal and others under revision will be concluded by the end of June and only the main offices will remain working on data compilation and making a final report that is expected to be completed by December this year.
The government has also decided to exhibit Gacaca achievements during the upcoming International Human Rights meeting on the 10th anniversary of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) to be celebrated sometime this year.
The semi-traditional courts which have been praised by many legal experts were adopted with the purpose of administering justice while promoting national unity and reconciliation. Under the Gacaca arrangement, over 1.5 million cases have been tried and only a few remain.
According to the Executive Secretary of Gacaca Jurisdiction, Domitilla, Mukantaganzwa, the handover of the archives will be held after the final closure.
She said: “CLNG is charged with researching and keeping the memorys of the Genocide, that is why the archives will have to be hosted there; so far we are on track in the completion process.”