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Gacaca: Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in Postconflict Rwanda?

Max Rettig
African Studies Review
Vol. 51, No. 3 (Dec., 2008), pp. 25-50
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27667378
Page Count: 26
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Gacaca: Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation in Postconflict Rwanda?
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Abstract

In institutionalizing gacaca, the Rwandan government has launched one of the most ambitious transitional justice projects the world has ever seen. But gacaca is controversial, and its contribution to postconflict reconciliation is unclear. Through public opinion surveys, trial observations, and interviews, this study provides a window into how gacaca has shaped interethnic relations in one Rwandan community. Although gacaca has brought more people to trial than the ICTR, transnational trials, and the ordinary Rwandan courts combined, gacaca exposes—and perhaps deepens—conflict, resentment, and ethnic disunity. Lies, half-truths, and silence have limited gacaca's contribution to truth, justice, and reconciliation.

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