Monday, 7 April 2014

Why coexistence doesn’t equal reconciliation in Rwanda

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:58 PDT

… fragments from a series of first-person accounts … collected to mark the 20th anniversary of Rwanda’s 100 days of slaughter. Taken together, they give extraordinary insight into the psychology of atrocity: how so many ordinary people – friends, neighbours, doctors, teachers, priests – could take part in the bloodletting.

They also hint at the moral complexity underlying Rwanda’s efforts to balance truth and reconciliation, justice and forgiveness…

Twenty years later, old resentments fester alongside new.


Rwanda: Portraits of Reconciliation

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:15 PDT

Last month, the photographer Pieter Hugo went to southern Rwanda, two decades after nearly a million people were killed during the country’s genocide, and captured a series of unlikely, almost unthinkable tableaus. In one, a woman rests her hand on the shoulder of the man who killed her father and brothers. In another, a woman poses with a casually reclining man who looted her property and whose father helped murder her husband and children. In many of these photos, there is little evident warmth between the pairs, and yet there they are, together. In each, the perpetrator is a Hutu who was granted pardon by the Tutsi survivor of his crime.


The Rise of Rwanda’s Women: Rebuilding and Reuniting a Nation

Filed under: gender,Human Rights,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:14 PDT

Twenty years ago, in 100 days of slaughter between April and July 1994, an estimated one million Rwandan men, women, and children were killed by their fellow citizens. It was one of the worst genocides in history, and its effects still ripple through Rwanda, central and eastern Africa, and the world at large.

It would be obscene to say that such a catastrophe has had even the thinnest silver lining. But it did create a natural — or unnatural — experiment, as the country’s social, economic, and political institutions were wiped out by the genocide. And in important respects, the reconstructed Rwanda that emerged over the next two decades is a dramatically different country.

One major improvement has come in the leadership of Rwandan women, who have made history with their newly vital role in politics and civil society.


Sunday, 6 April 2014

From Fear to Freedom: Shedding light on a lesser known chapter of the Rwanda genocide

Filed under: Africa files,Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 10:03 PDT

Beatha Kayitesi’s story, From Fear to Freedom, on Global’s 16×9, sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of that nation’s tragedy. It is a living account of the years before the genocide and the attempts to which one person will go to achieve peace.


UN chief urges CAR govt to prevent genocide

Filed under: Africa files,Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:53 PDT

BANGUI (Central African Republic): UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged the leaders of the strife-torn Central African Republic to prevent a new genocide on the continent, 20 years after Rwanda.

“It is your responsibility as leaders to ensure that there are no such anniversaries in this country,” said Ban, in Bangui for a brief visit.

The UN secretary general will meet transitional president Catherine Samba Panza to discuss ways to end the deadly cycle of intercommunal violence that has laid waste to the country for a year and led senior UN figures to raise the spectre of genocide. Ban, who will spend just a few hours in Bangui before heading to Rwanda for the 20th anniversary of that country’s genocide, said ahead of his visit he was “deeply troubled by the appalling atrocities” against civilians in the Central African Republic.


Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Canadian genocide?

Filed under: Human Rights,Indigenous Peoples,International Law: War,Middle East,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:44 PDT

There is something inherently perverse about the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the as-yet-unfinished landmark rising from the plain between a parking lot and a baseball stadium at Winnipeg’s Forks. When you get right down to it, this $351-million dream of the late media mogul Izzy Asper is being built to document evil…

The museum, which opens in September and is one of only two national museums located outside Ottawa-Hull, has been taking shape for more than a decade. In that time, disputes have almost constantly overshadowed what its promoters would prefer to highlight…

The Ukrainian community, for example, lamented that exhibits on the Holodomor (the 1932-33 starvation engineered by Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin) were going to be too close to the washrooms; Palestinians objected to being left out entirely; even Jews — whom Asper envisioned as central to the museum — were reportedly upset that the founding of the state of Israel was not going to be commemorated.

But the nascent museum’s most heated controversy is the growing insistence that exhibits depicting the story of First Nations peoples carry the word “genocide” in their titles. So far, the museum has resisted doing that…


Monday, 1 April 2013

Mapping hate speech to predict ethnic violence

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Media and Conflict,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:46 PDT

In the months leading up to the Rwandan genocide of 1994, the radio station Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines blanketed the country with anti-Tutsi propaganda, inciting its Hutu listeners to “exterminate the cockroaches.” During the genocide, the station took on an even more active role, reading out lists of people to be killed and their locations.

The role played by the station only became widely understood outside of Rwanda after the violence was over. Three of its former executives were eventually indicted by a U.N. tribunal for their part in the genocide, but what if the world had been monitoring Milles Collines before the killing started?

That’s the idea behind Hatebase, a new initiative from the Sentinel Project, a Canadian group that aims to use social media and other technology to identify early warning signals for ethnic conflict.


Friday, 30 November 2012

The US’ role in the DR Congo conflict

Filed under: Africa files,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 03:01 PDT

Rebels from the M23 group in the eastern DR Congo (DRC) say they have begun withdrawing from territory they captured from government troops.

The group’s full name – the March 23 Movement – refers to the date peace accords were signed in 2009 between the country’s government and the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP), a rebel group comprised mostly of ethnic Tutsis.

About 500,000 people have fled their homes during seven months of fighting between the M23 rebels and government troops.

The US has dispatched a state department official to the region but has been careful to spare its allies, Rwanda and Uganda, anything beyond symbolic sanction – even though a UN report, released last week, concluded that the rebels have been backed by both neighbouring countries.


Friday, 9 November 2012

Meet 4 African Women Who Are Changing The Face Of Coffee

Filed under: Africa files,Business, Human Rights, Environment,Environment,gender,Rwanda — administrator @ 13:01 PDT

If you’re a coffee drinker, chances are the cup of java you drank this morning was made from beans that were produced or harvested by women. Women’s handprints can be found at every point in coffee production.

In fact, on family-owned coffee farms in Africa, about 70 percent of maintenance and harvesting work is done by women, according to an analysis by the International Trade Centre, but only rarely do women own the land or have financial control.

The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is trying to change that by giving them access to training and networking, and the opportunity to develop new trade relationships…

Fatima Aziz Faraji … manages a family coffee farm called Finca Estate in Tanzania. She’s pushed for a larger voice for women by filling the seats on coffee oversight boards traditionally reserved for men. For instance, she’s getting ready to begin a stint on the Tanzanian Coffee Board, and she’s a co-director of the Tanzania Coffee Research Institute.

So what is the IWCA’s alliance doing for women in her country? She explains the IWCA is bringing women together who previously had no access to each other, or the outside world.
The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) is trying to empower women in the coffee sector through training, networking and new trade development.


Monday, 13 August 2012

What Burundi could teach Rwanda about reconciliation

Filed under: Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 08:33 PDT

When people think of genocide in Africa, neighbouring Rwanda usually comes to mind after the slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 100 days in 1994.

But over the years Burundi, which has a similar ethnic make-up and tensions, has also faced killings by both Tutsi and Hutus, driving a wedge into the fabric of the nation…

… Burundi is now coping with ethnicity far better than its better-known neighbour.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Congo Rebels Strengthen Hand as Summit Fails to End Conflict

Filed under: Africa files,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 09:32 PDT

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda failed to resolve a border-region dispute at a meeting yesterday, strengthening the position held by rebels whose insurgency has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians.

After Congo accused Rwanda of supporting an ethnic Tutsi- led rebellion in the east of the country, President Joseph Kabila and his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame held a three-day summit with five other African leaders in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, which borders both countries.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

U.N. demands end of foreign support for Congo rebels

Filed under: Africa files,International Law: War,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:19 PDT

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council on Thursday demanded an end to foreign support for the M23 rebels fighting against the Kinshasa government in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a rebuke diplomats said was aimed at Rwanda and Uganda.

The 15-nation council issued a statement voicing its “strong condemnation of any and all outside support to the M23 and demand that all support to the M23, including from outside countries, cease immediately.”

“They further call upon all countries in the region to cooperate actively with the Congolese authorities in dismantling and demobilizing the M23,” the statement said.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Global Peacemaking Award given to NGO working in Rwanda

Filed under: Media and Conflict,Peaceworkers in the news,Rwanda — administrator @ 06:51 PDT

Shalom, Educating for Peace (SEP), a peace education NGO registered under the law of South Africa and working in Rwanda, will be awarded the Global Peacemaking Award from the International Public Policy Institute (IPPI) on the 9th of June. SEP has been educating communities for peace since 2008, reaching thousands of people in the Ndera, Rwamagana and Rulindo areas. The organisation has developed several programs, including a weekly radio broadcast on peace, training in nonviolent communication, and peace education through sports, theatre and song, amongst others. (read more…)

Monday, 30 April 2012

War crimes trial in Ottawa starts with jury selection: Jacques Mungwarere arrested in Windsor for allegedly participating in Rwandan genocide

Filed under: International Law: War,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:36 PDT

The selection of 12 bilingual jurors, from a pool of about 1,200, begins today in Ottawa in the war crimes trial of a man accused of participating in the mass genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Jacques Mungwarere, 39, is the second Rwandan to be prosecuted under Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, which was introduced in 2000 and allows for prosecution no matter where or when an alleged war crime may have been committed.

The first person prosecuted under the act is Desire Munyaneza, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2009.


Monday, 16 April 2012

Rwanda: While Gacaca Brought Justice, Reconciliation Is Long-Term Process

Filed under: Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 18:23 PDT

Given that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis took place on the basis of deep social divisions, justice and reconciliation were top priorities when the country emerged from the 100-day cataclysm. “Justice was the first thing that those who lost loved ones claimed,” explains Domitilla Mukantanganzwa, the executive secretary of the national jurisdiction of Gacaca courts.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Rwanda Gets Business Reformer Tag as Kagame Opponents Jailed

Filed under: Business, Human Rights, Environment,Human Rights,Rwanda — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:59 PDT

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has been criticized by the U.S. government and advocacy groups for cracking down on civil liberties and trampling on human rights. Investors are more focused on how his policies have fostered one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice in November criticized Rwanda’s “closed” political culture. Harassment of civil-society activists, opposition figures and journalists as well as the disappearance of some of them pose the “next developmental challenge” for the country, she said. Her comments echoed similar statements by Amnesty International, the London-based rights group, last week.


The Closing of the Gacaca Courts and the Implications for Access to Justice in Rwanda

Filed under: International Law: War,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 07:49 PDT

Rwanda’s traditional mechanism for resolving civil disputes; the Gacaca courts, will officially be closing on the 4th of May 2012. The Gacaca Courts have tried the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide related Rwanda’s traditional mechanism for resolving civil disputes; the Gacaca courts, will officially be closing on the 4th May 2012. The Gacaca Courts have tried the bulk of Rwanda’s genocide related cases. As of July 2012 the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)’s main body is also closing and will no longer hear any cases except for appeals, which are to be completed by 2014. These developments raise questions about what avenues will remain open for ordinary Rwandans who have not yet had their cases heard.


Monday, 23 January 2012

Rwanda war-crimes suspect deported after almost two decades in Canada

Filed under: Human Rights,International Law: War,Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 20:49 PDT

MONTREAL – A man accused of crimes related to the Rwanda genocide was deported back there Monday after losing a lengthy legal fight to stay in Canada.


Friday, 6 January 2012

Rwanda: Official Closing Ceremony for Gacaca Courts to Be Held May 4

Filed under: Rwanda,Transitional Justice — story spotted by Catherine Morris @ 12:47 PDT

ARUSHA — Government of Rwanda announced that it would officially hold an official closing ceremony for the semi-traditional courts known as Gacaca on May 4, 2012 according to information received by Hirondelle News Agency.

The new date was declared following a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Paul Kagame, indicated a government statement made available to Hirondelle on Thursday. The closure of Gacaca courts was first announced in 2007 but has been postponed several times due to what officials call complexity of certain cases and the discovery of new facts.

Gacaca trials began in 2005 in 106 pilot jurisdictions and were then extended to the rest of the country. They have now judged some 1.5 million people, according to the Rwandan government.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Upsala Conflict Data Program: Major data release

On 8 December, 2011, the UCDP released its latest addition to its vast number of datasets; the UCDP GED version 1.0-2011. The UCDP GED is an event-based and georeferenced dataset on organized violence, detailing all of the UCDP’s categories of violence (state-based conflict, non-state conflict and one-sided violence) in Africa between 1989 and 2010 at the level of the individual event of violence.

Also on 8 December, 2011, the UCDP released new data on external support in internal armed conflicts for the time period 1975-2009.

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