- Showing 2 posts filed under: Region: Africa [–] published between Aug 01, 2009 and Aug 31, 2009 [Show all]
Book Review: As We Forgive
“If they told you that a murderer was to be released into your neighborhood, how would you feel? But what if this time, they weren’t just releasing one, but forty thousand?”
-A survivor of the Rwandan genocide
As We Forgive: Stories of Reconciliation from Rwanda, Catherine Claire Larson's new book, addresses this and other questions raised by the recent release of fifty thousand men and women who took part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Thanks to the work of several restorative justice ministries and other groups, a growing number of Rwandans have begun to heal and have sometimes even been reconciled with those who murdered their friends and family. Larson intersperses the stories of several of these survivors with thoughtful reflections on healing and forgiveness. Included discussion questions make As We Forgive a good choice for small group use.
Gacaca's end and its legacy
The Rwandan government announced today that it will stop taking new gacaca cases as of July 31st and that it intends to wind down gacaca operations within five months. Gacaca is a traditional local justice procedure (gacaca roughly means “justice on the grass” in Kinyarwanda) that the government modified to process the staggering number of low-level genocide cases and help reconcile perpetrators with their communities. Starting in 2002, the Rwandans began operating a system of more than 10,000 gacaca courts. Regardless of what one may think about its merits, the gacaca experience has represented a Herculean task with hundreds of thousands of cases processed in the past few years. In the words of Lars Waldorf, it was mass justice for mass atrocity. But was it successful? I was asked today on the BBC World Service (interview starts at the 18:53 mark) about gacaca’s legacy and I noted that it was mixed.