15 Mich. St. J. Int'l L. 101 (2007)
Rape and Recovery in Rwanda: The Viability of Local Justice Initiatives and the Availability of Surrogate State Protection for Women that Flee

handle is hein.journals/mistjintl15 and id is 107 raw text is: RAPE AND RECOVERY IN RWANDA: THE
VIABILITY OF LOCAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES AND
THE AVAILABILITY OF SURROGATE STATE
PROTECTION FOR WOMEN THAT FLEE
Lori A. Nessel*
INTRODUCTION
What should we do with ourselves?
We the people who destroyed our beloved country?
You who saw crimes and you who committed them?
Whatever happened didn't come from us. It was put into us...
You should confess what you have done and ask for forgiveness...
You who survived the genocide and who lost your beloveds...
We are together with you and we share the pain with you.
We are asking forgiveness from the bottom of our hearts...
We are assuring you, it will never happen again
We will never do it again!'
These lyrics, which were accompanied by throat-slitting gestures and
finger-wagging reprimands, were sung by a musical ensemble of Hutu
prisoners accused of genocide. They performed their song before an
audience of approximately one thousand Rwandans gathered together
to witness, accuse and participate in one of the thousands of gacaca
tribunals occurring across Rwanda.2 After the performance, a larger
number of Hutu prisoners were questioned about genocidal crimes and
audience members were asked to speak out and share their memories
* Professor of Law, Dean's Fellow, and Director, Center for Social Justice, Seton
Hall University School of Law. I would like to thank all the members of the Michigan State
Journal of International Law for inviting me to contribute to such an important symposium.
Thank you also to Lissette Ferreiro and Sheikh Shaghaf for outstanding research assistance and
to John Cicero for guidance and Seton Hall Law for generous financial support.
1. Samantha Power, Rwanda: The Two Faces of Justice, 50 N.Y. REv. BoOKS, Jan.
16, 2003 at 49 (reciting a traditional Hutu song performed by members of the prison musical
troupe at the start of the gacaca tribunals).
2. Id. The estimated number of individuals to be tried by the gacaca tribunals ranges
from 500,000 to 1,000,000. Mark A. Drumbl, The ICTR and Justice for Rwandan Women, 12
NEW   ENG. J. INT'L &      COMP. L. 105, 109-10      (2005), available at
http://www.nesl.edu/inljoumal/vol 12/drumble.pdf (citing 500,000); Jacques Fierens, Gacaca
Courts: Between Fantasy andReality, 3 J. INT'LCRIM. JUST. 896, 899 (2005) (citing 1,000,000).

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