Reconciliation through the Gacaca Tribunals in Rwanda “A reconstruction of knowledge on ‘ethnic identities’ in Rwandan societies towards the achievement of sustainable reconciliation

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School; Lunds universitet/Master of Science in Global Studies

Abstract: Imagining how contemporary conflicts have divided societies in the recent times put one in a position to think of possibilities that will improve the activities of reconciliation initiatives for a lasting peaceful coexistence in the aftermath of conflicts. In Rwanda series of conflicts have emerged since the end of colonial rule till the genocide in 1994 calling for a necessary transitional justice system that will administer justice for the injustices that occurred and promote reconciliation and national unity. The transitional justice established is the Gacaca tribunals which are to oversee to the process by providing a platform for perpetrators and victim/survivors to unearth the truth and reconcile the parties in the process. This essay is of the view that since the cause of conflict is a reflection of a constructed ‘ethnic identity’ from colonial times; the best way to achieve a sustainable reconciliation to avoid the recurrence of a conflict is to reconstruct the ethnic identity notion. How to reconstruct the knowledge of the people for them to change their perception and attitude about the other and live in a peaceful coexistence through the gacaca is what the essay provides.

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