The ICTR archives belong to Rwandans

On Wednesday East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) parliamentarians passed a motion declaring their institution’s support for the decision of the Council of Ministers to ensure that all the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) be transferred to Rwanda.

On Wednesday East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) parliamentarians passed a motion declaring their institution’s support for the decision of the Council of Ministers to ensure that all the archives of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) be transferred to Rwanda.

It is extremely unfortunate and frustrating that Rwandans are still being forced to agitate for this essential part of our own history. Make no mistake; those archives are our history.

They document the planning, execution and aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. They reveal the legal process in which the architects of the more than a million deaths faced justice.

They document the crimes that monsters like genocidal regime Prime Minister Jean Kambanda, Jean Paul Akayesu and the virulent Theoneste Bagosora committed.

It is simply mind-boggling that the archives would find another home. Where else would they be as valued? Where else would they provide such a lesson to the citizenry?

Placing the archives in any other hands would be a slap in the face of all Rwandans.  The EALA realises this and so does the East African Community.  The United Nations system must not betray Rwandans the way it did 19 years ago.   

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