Dr. Phil Clark, a political scientist specialising in conflict and post-conflict issues in Africa, is expected to launch his book on Gacaca Courts today, three days to the International Book Day,.
The book titled, the Gacaca Courts, Post-Genocide Justice and Reconciliation in Rwanda: Justice without Lawyers, will be launched during a symposium hosted by Experts Forum Rwanda, Oxford Transitional Justice Research (University of Oxford), and the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
Deputy Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege is expected to preside over the function.
“The Gacaca court process is nearing an end, following hundreds of thousands of genocide trials since 2001. No country has attempted post-conflict accountability on such an immense scale in terms of the number of prosecutions and the number of everyday citizens, who have been involved in trials,” Clark is quoted in a statement as saying.
Clark is also a lecturer in Comparative and International Politics, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
“While for these immediate reasons Gacaca constitutes a remarkable success, it is now necessary to begin considering the longer-term effects of the process on community reconciliation and the impact of nearly a decade of public truth-telling about genocide crimes,” he adds.
During the book presentation, several Rwandan and international scholars and practitioners will discuss the results of the Gacaca courts and the future direction of the country.
According to Dr. Clark, his book is the first academic analysis of the entirety of the Gacaca process.
Drawing on more than eight years of fieldwork in Rwanda and nearly 550 interviews with Genocide suspects, survivors, Gacaca judges and policymakers, the book analyses how Rwandans themselves interpret the Gacaca experience, as well as, the individual and communal effects of the trials.