Gacaca courts have united Rwandans

Editor,I express my dismay over the Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday with the alarming headline “Rwanda: Justice Compromised: The Legacy of Rwanda’s community-based Gacaca Courts”.Personally, I was not surprised by this new attempt by HRW to undermine one of the biggest achievements registered in Rwanda since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; the Gacaca courts.

Editor,

I express my dismay over the Human Rights Watch report released on Tuesday with the alarming headline “Rwanda: Justice Compromised: The Legacy of Rwanda’s community-based Gacaca Courts”.

Personally, I was not surprised by this new attempt by HRW to undermine one of the biggest achievements registered in Rwanda since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi; the Gacaca courts.

It is the same HRW approach to Rwandan issues that we have known for years.

The watchdog decides to overlook the miraculous achievements Gacaca is leaving behind and focus on a few negative aspects.

HRW should know that there is no justice system in the world that is 100 percent perfect.

It is not surprising that a few cases in Gacaca were not without some flaws, just like it would happen anywhere else in the world.

But the most important thing is to recognise that the achievements of Gacaca far outweigh the weaknesses. Gacaca courts united and reconciled the Rwandan people.

The bitterness which the genocide had left behind was all done away with. Perpetrators and victims made peace while justice was delivered.

To undermine Gacaca is an insult to Rwandans and their quest to seek solutions to their own problems. It seems HRW will never review its approach on Rwanda.

Doreen Umunyana
Washington DC

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