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9 Global Governance 219 (2003)
Western and Local Approaches to Justice in Rwanda

handle is hein.journals/glogo9 and id is 229 raw text is: Global Governance 9 (2003), 219-231

Western and Local Approaches
to Justice in Rwanda
Peter Uvin & Charles Mironko
wanda represents an important test case for the emerging
international postconflict agenda. The so-called international
community has rarely invested so massively in justice and human
rights as part of an attempt to restore peace and promote democracy and
reconciliation. These efforts come in the wake of the worst genocide of
the late twentieth century, leaving up to 800,000 dead by mid-1994.1 Of
course, good intentions never guaranteed good outcomes, and this is
especially true for a society as destroyed, divided, suspicious, poor, and
traumatized as Rwanda's. In this article we analyze the local politics and
perceptions of postgenocide justice in Rwanda and the relationship of
justice to peace, democracy, and reconciliation.
There are currently three types of efforts to deal with the perpetra-
tors of genocide in Rwanda, and all receive significant international
support: the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), the
formal domestic justice system, and gacaca. We present the aims of the
international community for each type and juxtapose these with the
internal politics within Rwanda. We argue that the first two Western-
inspired systems of justice have proven incapable of addressing the
needs of Rwanda. The third system, gacaca, offers a promising alterna-
tive to achieve not only justice, but reconciliation and grassroots
empowerment as well. This promise, however, also poses risks.
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The ICTR-whose full name is the International Criminal Tribunal for
the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious
Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Terri-
tory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and
Other Such Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighboring States
Between 1 January 1994 and 31 December 1994-is the product of the
international community; it is fully managed and funded by it and exists
to no small extent over the objections of the government of Rwanda.

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