To Orwell Today,
re: discussion about heroes and justice

Dear Jackie Jura,

I am glad to receive your response to my mail. In as far as healing the wounds of genocide in Rwanda is concerned, truth must be revealed - for justice to be instituted and hence reconcilliation would come as an aftermath of all that.

It's known, when you want to heal a wound, you expose and wash it otherwise it would rot the more. The perpetrators of genocide should be brought to book without fear or favour, and peace then will prevail in the land of a thousand hills.

My worry is how the genocidiers have been released only to leap off the few remaining survivers who they fear would pin them in the "gacaca" courts.

We appeal for the government of rwanda to look into that otherwise the generation of survivors may follow their lost dear ones.

Taremwa Benon,
Makerere University
Kampala, Uganda

Greetings Taremwa,

I agree with you totally that the wound of genocide needs to be cleaned with justice before it can heal.

I believe the government of Rwanda will do everything it can to accomplish that, and at the same time protect the survivors from the genocidaires.

I read the other day that President Kagame was strongly urging Rwandans to embrace the Gacaca system because it is the only one that can quicken the Genocide trials and it's working. He was responding to some organization somewhere criticising Gacaca, when it turned out they hadn't even observed any in action, had just been going by what they had read by some other critic of Gacaca.

Gacaca has brought more criminals to justice than the totally corrupt United Nations Court in Tanzania (the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda - ICTR) which has convicted only 20 people over 12 years at a cost of over one billion dollars.

Also, it's reported in today's news that Rwanda is abolishing the death penalty, taking away the only excuse nations harbouring genocide masterminds and perpetrators have for not extraditing them to Rwanda to face trial.

Now let's see if the 93 criminals Rwanda is requesting extraditied are handed over, or will Western World governments - including Canada - still let these genocidal maniacs live in protected obscurity within our borders.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

Kagame clarifies on Gacaca. Aug 15, 2006
President Paul Kagame has clarified on the recent reports contained in the African Peer Review Mechanism that questioned the functions of Gacaca courts and the Forum for Political Parties (FPP), challenging researchers to aim at presenting what they saw rather than what they heard. Responding to journalists' queries during a monthly press conference held at his office on Monday August 14, the president urged Rwandans to embrace Gacaca because it is the only appropriate system for Rwanda's case. "Gacaca is unprecedented; it is the only way Rwanda found that would quicken genocide trials, and it remains the only appropriate system for the case of Rwanda," Kagame said, adding: "When this team was asked to shed light on what they had presented, they said they had compiled what was being said. This is completely wrong. They should have presented what they saw and analyzed their observations." The president pointed out that during the Banjul Summit, Gacaca was adopted as a good strategy in conflict resolution. "The participants, including the chairperson himself, concluded that the African Union should organise debates and allow Rwanda to provide lessons about Gacaca to all member countries," he said....

Genocide suspects won't face execution in Rwanda. CNN, Aug 18, 2006
Rwanda plans to strike capital punishment for genocide suspects from its statute books to encourage European and North American countries to extradite suspected masterminds of the 1994 genocide, the attorney general said Friday. Rwanda has repeatedly demanded that Western nations extradite any genocide suspects they may know are living in their countries, but some nations have expressed reservations because Rwanda has the death penalty. "I have just submitted a draft law on the waivers to the minister of justice," Attorney General Martin Ngoga told The Associated Press. Last month, Rwanda released a list of 93 genocide suspects thought to be living in Western Europe and North America. Many on that list are former political leaders and businesspersons. "We know that capital punishment is a sensitive subject in Rwanda but we would rather compromise a little and get the suspects here for trial than allow them to roam the world freely," said Ngoga. Rwandan genocide survivors' organizations have denounced moves to remove capital punishment for any genocide suspects, especially those outside the country, who they consider to be planners of the genocide. The first and only execution of genocide convicts was carried out in 1998 at a football field in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. In spite of pressure from Western governments, 22 convicts were executed by firing squad. About 600 convicts are on death row in Rwanda's crowded prisons. Only the United States has extradited a genocide suspect to Rwanda. Last year, Enos Kagaba was deported from Minnesota after he was judged to have entered the United States illegally. Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Switzerland have been pursuing genocide suspects through their own courts. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda that sits in the northwestern Tanzania town of Arusha tries suspected masterminds of the 1994 genocide during which more than half a million members of the Tutsi ethnic minority and moderates from the Hutu majority were slaughtered. The tribunal was set up in 1994 and has so far convicted 20 suspects and acquitted three. Trials are under way for 27 others.

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~
website: www.orwelltoday.com & email: orwelltoday@orwelltoday.com

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