After 19 years, the ICTR has nothing to write home about

When the International Criminal Tribunal was set up in 1994, immediately after the Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed the lives of over one million, survivors and their families put all their hope into the new body: justice at last, would prevail.

When the International Criminal Tribunal was set up in 1994, immediately after the Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed the lives of over one million, survivors and their families put all their hope into the new body: justice at last, would prevail.

They couldn’t have been further off the mark. Many today believe the tribunal did not contribute even an iota to the healing process as had been hopped, but as a big hype. They only see it as a bureaucratic money guzzling mass

Two decades later and billions of dollars down the drain, the ICTR has completed only 46 cases with 17 pending appeals. 12 were acquitted, bringing the total number of persons tried today to a dismal 75.

Many have failed to understand why it tirelessly blocked all attempts to let convicted genocidaires serve their sentences where they committed their crimes, opting instead to hide them thousands of kilometers away.

To add insult to injury, the ICTR is fighting tooth and nail to house Rwanda’s history – the tribunal’s records – elsewhere and not where they belong. This is despite the fact that the tribunal got most of the documentation and witness testimonies through the good offices of the Rwandan government.

Those who died and more who still suffer the consequences of the Genocide against the Tutsi, were not just scientific statistics, but had names to their credit.

It is time the tribunal – and in a larger sense, the UN itself – redeems its image in the eyes of victims of the world’s worst catastrophe by doing the right thing.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News