Source: (2014) Gonzaga Journal of International Law.17(2):1-19.

Rwanda is demonstrating to the international community that it is a nation determined to overcome the stigma that comes with genocide, to unify its people, and to find a place on the international stage without completely abandoning its traditional notions of unity, resolution and reconciliation in the process. These traditional ideals have been most successfully integrated into the modem Rwandan system through the Gacaca Courts, the most wellknown homegrown initiative in Rwanda, and Abunzi, the mediation system that is essentially the successor of the Gacaca Courts. Both Gacaca and Abunzi serve as significant evidence that homegrown initiatives in Rwanda provide a successful balance between a modem' system and the Rwandan traditional ideals of unity, resolution, and reconciliation. It is necessary for Rwanda to maintain its traditional ideals after the devastating genocide in 1994, for those traditional ideals are a critical part of rebuilding and modernizing, thus enabling Rwanda to become a more self-sufficient nation and a more prominent player on the international stage. Even though much more needs to be done, Rwanda is making positive strides toward becoming a more influential presence in the international community. (excerpt)