The Malian Minister for Justice and Human Rights, Mamadou Ismaila Konate has said his country is ready to emulate Rwanda’s justice system.
He said this Thursday as he concluded his five-day working visit to Rwanda which he started on Sunday. The visit aimed at learning from Rwanda’s justice system.
During his stay, he visited Kigali Genocide memorial, Isange One Stop Centre, Forensic Laboratory, Nyanza Prison, National Commission for the Fight against Genocide, Supreme Court, Ombudsman office, among others.
Minister Mamadou and his delegation were briefed about the contribution of transitional justice, Gacaca courts, and Abunzi (mediators) committees in unity and reconciliation efforts.
Gacaca, a traditional justice system, saw 1,958,634 Genocide cases handled within 10 years while Abunzi help in the reduction of case backlogs, promote harmony in society as well as make justice affordable and accessible to the citizens, among others.
Minister Mamadou commended Rwanda’s justice system.
“I will immediately put in place the structure of mediators (Abunzi) when I get back to Mali. We will also put in place mechanisms to fight against corruption. The remarkable work done by the Office of the Ombudsman here has inspired us and we will send someone for purposes of proper collaboration,” he said.
“Gacaca is a justicial system that wasn’t seen or found anywhere but in Rwanda and it is inspiring. We will adopt traditional justice practices to ensure closeproximity of justice to the citizens,” he added.
“I am impressed by how Rwanda is least corrupt and amazed at how gender-based violence is dealt with,” he added.
Minister Mamadou said he was saddened by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
“My visit to the Genocide memorial gave me an insight into where Rwanda is coming from and where it is going. I am impressed that Rwanda has attained steady progress especially using home-grown solutions. What this country has achieved within just 23 years in the justice sector in particular should be a source of pride,” he said.
Rwandan and Malian officials committed to improve bilateral ties in justice between the two countries.
Mamadou said “Our cooperation in justice is evident and we are determined to take it even further.”
His counterpart, Johnston Busingye, said Rwanda will work with Mali closely to ensure Genocide convicts serving their sentences there are treated in accordance with domestic and international legal regime.
He revealed that a Memorandum of Understanding in justice between the two countries has been drafted and that it will be signed as soon as possible.
“We had a fruitful discussion on different areas of cooperation. We agreed on mutual judicial assistance, exchange of information and expertise in training, extradition, among others.”
He said the visit sought to cement the already strong ties that existed between the two countries.
‘‘Since we share the same aspirations, our country is willing to work with Mali in all aspects that may advance the cause of justice. Rwanda and Mali already have a very good relationship but this visit has brought it to another level and we are committed to work closely together,” he said.