20 participants, among them 18 students from the Tanzanian-German Centre for Eastern African Legal Studies (TGCL), based at University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, on Friday visited the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG). By RNA


The objective of the visit was to gain a deeper understanding of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the international and legal mechanisms in place to bring perpetrators to justice and the strategies that have been implemented for Genocide memorialization and the assistance of victims.
Dr. Jean-Damascène Gasanabo, Director General of the Research and Documentation Center on Genocide, delivered a presentation to the TGCL students, detailing CNLG’s efforts in commemoration, prevention, research and documentation of the Genocide, and combating Genocide denial, Genocide ideology, and impunity both within Rwanda and on a global scale. The presentation also introduced the Gacaca courts as a system of achieving justice and evaluated its effectiveness.
Next to that, he presented the different forms of Genocide denial occurring nationally and abroad regarding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, noting the laws that are in place to combat its spread. One example that was given was the UN Security Council Resolution 2150 of April 2014. This part of the presentation also included a discussion of the role of CNLG and its partners in advocating laws on Genocide denial outside of Rwanda, as was the case for the amendment to the press freedom law in France that prohibits the denial of internationally-recognized genocides including the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and came into force on 28th January 2017. In a similar light, CNLG’s contribution to the efforts made to bring the génocidaires still at large to justice, by collaborating with the global community and enforcing international law, was discussed.
Of particular interest to the LLM students and PhD candidates from TGCL was the conversation surrounding the Gacaca court system, and how it served as an instrument not only in fighting impunity and restoring justice but also for community reconstruction. The students also asked several questions regarding the Government of Rwanda’s policies on learning from the Genocide, putting an end to ethnic division and building a country whose inhabitants respect themselves as fellow Rwandans.
The TGCL student’s visit to CNLG thus afforded them a unique opportunity to understand how the Rwandan Government itself is responding to issues of reconstruction and transitional justice, from the perspective of an institution heavily involved in the process.