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The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda: A Paper Umbrella in the Rain? Initial Pitfalls and Brighter Prospects.

Maogoto, Jackson Nyamuya
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Working Paper 1349. The Berkeley Electronic Press.

The tragedy which befell Rwanda in 1994 deserves a special place in the
bloodstained pages of history. The Rwandan genocide merits distinction primarily
because of its shocking efficiency, its scale and its proportional dimensions
among the victim population. The Security Council’s resolution establishing
the ICTR articulates a set of decisions, assumptions, wishes, and objectives.
Primarily, the States that voted in favour of the creation of the ICTR indicated
that the root of the problem was individual violations of international criminal
law. Only one State that voted for the resolution did not equate ipso facto
ICTR actions with justice. That State considered the ICTR only one of the
many tasks at hand for the international community. The ICTR was merely a
vehicle of justice, ‘but it is hardly designed as a vehicle for reconciliation…. Reconciliation
is a much more complicated process’ (Czech Republic). Interestingly,
Rwanda, which voted against the resolution, spoke of the problem in terms of a
culture of impunity. The UN paid little to no heed to the subtle, but extremely
different way in which the problem was characterised and the implications this
would have on the type of tool needed to deal with that problem. (author’s abstract)


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