NYAMAGABE – The United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) has launched a provincial Information and Documentation Centre in the Nyamagabe district, in a bid to highlight its achievements and challenges.
The centre was launched this Wednesday by Justice Hassan Bubacar Jallow, the Prosecutor of ICTR.
“This centre will play a crucial role in providing continued Genocide-related education which will encourage Genocide prevention in Rwanda and promote peace and security in Rwanda and the Great Lakes Region,” Jallow said at the launch, adding, “all these efforts are geared at ensuring a better understanding and confidence in the work of the ICTR.”
Jallow added that the tribunal in Arusha found it essential to adopt a vigorous outreach programme aimed at highlighting to Rwandans the achievements and challenges of the ICTR.
The centre located at the Nyamagabe Higher Court of Instance, would connect the ICTR to local courts, the legal fraternity and all Rwandans interested in researching on Rwandan genocide studies .
It was established with funding from the European Commission. And ten centres are expected to be set up in the country, according to our sources.
Jallow pointed out that the launch of the centre is a true testimony of the existing strong cooperation between Rwanda, the European Commission and the ICTR.
He further explained that the centre, will help create awareness, promote new values and share the knowledge and best practices so far developed as part of the ICTR legacy.
At the function, Ambassador David MacRae, the head of the European Union (EU) delegation in Rwanda, observed that opening up of information and documentation centres is an effort to bring the tribunal close to the people of Rwanda.
MacRae reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting programmes geared at improving the justice sector in the country.
“We are committed to help Rwanda build a well functioning justice system from the highest to the community level,” he said.
The European Commission funds different programmes in the National Police, the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission, the National Commission for Human Rights and Gacaca courts.
MacRae hailed Gacaca courts as an initiative by the people of Rwanda to solve problems that could not be solved by conventional courts.
Roland Amoussouga, the Senior Legal Adviser and ICTR Spokesperson noted that the key objective of such centres commonly known as ‘Umusanzu mu Bwiyunge’ is to bridge the information gap between the ICTR and the people of Rwanda.
“This centre will facilitate access to the jurisprudence of the ICTR and other legal materials for members of the Rwandan judiciary working here and other Rwandans with interest in the Justice sector,” he said.
This is the second centre to be inaugurated in the country; a similar centre was inaugurated last year at the Gasabo Higher Court of Instance in Kigali City.