Rwanda: Gacaca courts closure scheduled for June 30
Kigali – The Executive Secretary of the National Service of Gacaca Jurisdictions (NSGJ), Domitille Mukantaganzwa, has announced that the Gacaca courts would wind up their proceedings by the end of June 2010.
The Gacaca courts, adapted from a form of Rwandan traditional justice, were created in 2001 as an attempt to try the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide suspects. These adapted village courts, whose judges (“Inyangamugayo”) are chosen from the community, can hand down sentences up to life imprisonment, which is the maximum penalty in Rwanda.
Several previous deadlines have not been met until now and it is hoped that this new end of mission date will be respected.
Ms. Domitille Mukantaganzwa highlighted that 355 out of 416 administrative districts had already completed their trials and submitted their final reports.
“After the closing of the trials in all districts at the end of April, three months will be devoted to writing an overall final report. The official closure of the Gacaca trials at the national level is thus scheduled for June 30”, Domitille Mukantaganzwa stated.
She added that two bills, one with respect to the end of the Gacaca jurisdiction, the other on the closing of the NSGJ will soon be submitted to the government.