German MPs briefed on Gacaca

KIGALI - Visiting members of the German Parliament have shed off previous reservations about Gacaca Genocide trials and will return home prepared to discuss them with their compatriots and critics in Europe.Christoph Straesser, the head of the delegation, acknowledged this yesterday after discussions with Justice Minister and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama.
Head of the Germany delegation Christoph Straesser talks to reporters, yesterday, as Minister Karugarama  looks on (Photo T.Kisambira
Head of the Germany delegation Christoph Straesser talks to reporters, yesterday, as Minister Karugarama looks on (Photo T.Kisambira

KIGALI - Visiting members of the German Parliament have shed off previous reservations about Gacaca Genocide trials and will return home prepared to discuss them with their compatriots and critics in Europe.

Christoph Straesser, the head of the delegation, acknowledged this yesterday after discussions with Justice Minister and Attorney General, Tharcisse Karugarama.

“We came here to get information about the process of the ongoing work on the Genocide [trials] in Rwanda,” Straesser told reporters.

“We had a lot of debates about the work of the Gacacas and now we got an impressive speech from the minister and we are very impressed. I think it was a good delegation and we can [now] go home and discuss these things”.

The legislators were drawn from three political parties; the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

They are members of the German Bundestag’s Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid.

Karugarama told reporters that, during their closed-door meeting, the group said that they learnt a lot.

“There are so many things that they can go back home and explain to their people, especially, the strides this country has made in Genocide-related trials,” said Karugarama.

“They had a lot of reservations on Gacaca. We went through the whole process, from 1994 – the intervention this country had to make, and why. And the challenges at the time, and now.”

The minister said the Germans now appreciate the context and circumstances in which it was delivered, as well as the achievements.

The delegation will hold talks with their Rwandan counterparts and government officials before heading to neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

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