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ENFORCING INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN LAW AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL: THE GACACA JURISDICTIONS OF RWANDA

Abstract

Genocide was unleashed in Rwanda in April 1994. Within the first few hours, ten Belgian peacekeepers had been kidnapped and murdered and the leading moderate political leaders summarily and brutally executed. Approximately 100 days later, an estimated 800,000 people had been killed. Militias, armed forces, police officers and the ordinary man and woman on the street took part in the massacres.

In the decade that has elapsed since the genocide, Rwanda has put transitional justice at the centre of its post-conflict reconstruction process. In September 1994 the United Nations Security Council, at the behest of the Rwandan government, passed a resolution creating the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), to adjudicate the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in that country. Subsequently, in September 1996 Rwanda's legislative body passed the Organic Law on the Organisation of Prosecutions for Offences Constituting the Crime of Genocide or Crimes Against Humanity (Organic Law).

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Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law
  • ISSN: 1389-1359
  • EISSN: 1574-096X
  • URL: /core/journals/yearbook-of-international-humanitarian-law
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