A delegation from Sudan is in Rwanda for a five-day study tour.
The 22-member delegation consists of members of the Sudanese Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, a representative of the Sudanese Ministry of justice and UN representatives in Sudan.
On the first day of the visit, on Monday the delegation met with officials of the Ministry of Justice, with whom they held a discussion on Gacaca courts.
The delegation had earlier in the day visited the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) and on the agenda, and were also due to visit the Kigali Memorial Centre to pay respect to Genocide victims.
At the NURC, the group commended Rwandan peacekeepers in Darfur for their discipline as they discharge their peacekeeping duties.
Ibrahim Adam Ibrahim, the chairperson of the commission and head of the delegation, said they came to learn from Rwanda’s experience in post-conflict management, citing the country’s recovery from the dire consequences of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
“Rwanda’s experience in justice is unparalleled and exceptional. We are surprised to see what has been achieved in peace and development in such a short period after the Genocide. We have come to learn from the ability and skills that helped Rwanda achieve this,” he said.
He applauded Rwanda for having many women in decision-making organs, among other achievements.
“Kigali is the cleanest and the most secure city in Africa. All this was made possible because of the good leadership of this country,” he said, explaining that the experiences will be emulated in Sudan, especially Darfur, a region marred by conflict that erupted in 2003.
Isabelle Karihangabo, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, shared with the delegation Rwanda’s justice experience after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
She said Gacaca courts, among other mechanisms , were put in place to ensure perpetrators face justice and to restore unity and reconciliation.
She explained that Gacaca courts aimed to speed up Genocide trials, and eradicate the culture of impunity, among others.
“Thanks to Gacaca courts, judgments that would have taken take many years were concluded in a record time. Genocide trials were carried out at a rate of 87 per cent, the fight against injustice was achieved at 86 per cent, while the Gacaca courts helped promote unity and reconciliation at 87 per cent, among others,” she said.
“Gacaca courts facilitated confession and repentance of perpetrators, thus fostering unity and reconciliation,” she added.
Karihangabo also shared with the delegation about the Abunzi (mediation) committees which were created to settle disputes at the local level without people going to courts.