The UN has a lot to learn from Rwanda

Editor, The UN is at it again: Seeking avenues to justify its long existence. Today, I will give Ban Ki-Moon and his lieutenants a free tip on global conflict resolution: Visit Rwanda.
UN Headquarters New York
UN Headquarters New York

Editor,

The UN is at it again: Seeking avenues to justify its long existence. Today, I will give Ban Ki-Moon and his lieutenants a free tip on global conflict resolution: Visit Rwanda.

Having failed to avert the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the UN established the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). Based in Arusha, it has to-date handled a handful of cases, and going by its strike rate, it would take over 300 years to handle all the suspects.

This is what informed the Gacaca Courts in Rwanda. Based on the long established Kinyarwanda concept of justice, they have done a job that ’western justice’ would have done after over 300 years, with countless trillions of dollars spent. Pitting one against the other should shame the UN into eating humble pie and taking lessons from the old sages in Rwanda.

Whereas the ICTR needed high-flying ‘international lawyers’ with colossal salaries paid by the UN, Gacaca gathered citizens to tell the innocent from the guilty. 

To ICTR’s Five-Star Palatial  detention facilities, Gacaca’s guilty are integrated back into the community under a mechanism code-named ‘Igihano Nsimbura Gifungo’, a community service programme that entails rehabilitating and integrating  the guilty back into communal life.

Under the government’s ‘Gira Inka’ programme, they are given cows like other citizens to start a new life. And all this at a relatively small cost. Compare this against ICTR’s budget now running into the billions of dollars.

Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Rwanda has a lot to teach your body. Its employees would do a more satisfying and fulfilling job taking lessons form such mundane things as Gacaca’s solution to the post-genocide challenges, instead of sitting in Five-Star hotel lobbies and dreaming up ‘reports on genocide by the RPF in Eastern DRC’.

Humanity can live fulfilled and harmoniously by such  simple efforts as Gacaca and not by grandiose projects such as the ICTR, ICC, et al!!

Amon B Mbekiza
Kampala Uganda
kagap@yahoo.com.au

 

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