The peculiar course of the gacaca process introduced in Rwandan society to deal with the legacy of the 1994 genocide against Tutsi has been thoroughly examined in book-length scholarly studies ( Clark, 2010 ; Ingelaere, 2016 ; Chakravarty, 2015 ; Doughty, 2016 ; Longman, 2017 ). 1 Not only observations of trial proceedings but also survey results and popular narratives collected during fieldwork indicate that testimonial activity – both confessions but especially accusations – was the cornerstone of the gacaca system ( Penal Reform
share a Central African context. Their research deals with a period that starts with the genocide of the Tutsi in Rwanda, runs through the wars inside the Democratic Republic of Congo that followed and, over the longer term, those wars in the eastern part of that country, in Kivu, which is still an area with serious armed violence.
Bert Ingelaere spent a long time studying the post-genocide community courts, known as gacaca . It represents an extraordinary effort, both for the rigour of its analysis and for its detailed observations during public sessions of those
The politics of exhumation in post-genocide Rwanda
Hélène Dumas. See H. Dumas, ‘Juger le génocide
sur les collines: une étude des procès gacaca au Rwanda (2006–2012)’
(unpublished thesis, Paris, EHESS, 2013), p. 40.
C. Vidal, ‘Le génocide des rwandais tutsi: cruauté délibérée et logiques
de haine’, in F. Héritier (ed.), De la violence (Paris: Odile Jacob, 1996),
See trials ICTR-95-1 and ICTR-96-3.
PHR defines itself as an organization which seeks to use medicine and
science in order to ‘stop mass killing and human rights violations’.
M. Seutcheu, ‘Working together to prosecute human rights criminals:
the Gacaca courts is only now beginning.
Above all, there has been no real comparative study of the massacres
carried out in 1994 and those committed in 1963 and 1973.
More generally, a history of the modalities of violence in Rwanda
and the African Great Lakes region in the twentieth century has yet
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The Tutsi body in the 1994 genocide 237
to be written. While the genocide committed against the Tutsi had
a certain number of specific features, the massacres in Burundi in
both 1972 and 1993, along with those carried out in Uganda