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Information Session on Rukeratabaro case: Justice Without Reparation, Trivialization of the Principle of Equity

“The lawsuit yes, and after …”? The community of Mururu survivors welcomes the appeal judgment in Sweden of Theodore Rukeratabaro alleged genocide of the former commune Cyimbogo in southwestern Rwanda; but wonders the rest after the judgment. Thus salutes the justice rendered, while worrying about the repair to render equity.

Haguruka in collaboration with the Belgian organization, RCN Justice and Democracy, has been implementing a project named “Justice et Mémoire” since 2017. It is about providing information to Rwandans about the genocide trials that are going on elsewhere in Rwanda. Cooperatively, Haguruka with Association Modeste et innocent (AMI) and PAXPRESS, RCN follows the trials abroad and informs the Rwandan population. After the trial of the two former mayors of Kabarondo (Octavien Ngenzi and Tito Barahira) from May-July 2018 in France, the following is that of Theodore Rukeratabaro, former gendarme native of the Cyimbogo commune of Cyangugu. It was on 27th to 28th December 2018 in Mururu sector, Rusizi district in the western province.

Conducting Information session in Rusizi District at Mururu Sector | How far was RUKERATABARO THEODORE Genocide Trial outside of Rwanda| Justice without reparation, a trivialization of the principle of equity

By information, the community of survivors is aware of the Rukeratabaro trial, it updates and realize that no one can escape justice. However, the community is still wondering about the repair. “These trials do not respect the principle of reparation. It should be contextualized, for fear of trivializing the process. Anyway, we would not cover the real charges, but we can even make a symbolic repair. Otherwise the international community gives a superficial solution, “Laurent Ndagijimana, president of Ibuka Rusizi.

In a short interview at, Laurent raises concerns. “You know, let’s say that the principle of justice is a logic of equity. So, if we have just spent 25 years already, for me it is already late. It already has the risk of inefficiency.

Secondly, genocide is an international crime, and the very logic of justice for crimes of this kind is not compensatory. It is not a substitute for the dead man. So, there is a sanction that is there, it’s good. Has there been a material, moral compensation for the person to feel relatively rehabilitated?

And then after, if this stage is reached, then we approach the third stage which is in fact an integration of an entire population in the logic of peace, justice, equity and unity “. From criminal to civil, NGOs can help.

In addition, a closed trial is evidence for a civil case, such as Juvens Ntampuhwe articulate RCN Justice and Memory. For him, the criminal and the civil can go together in the same process, but once separated, one can engage the civil from the penal. On this point, the Rwandan Public Prosecutor’s Office calls on the non-governmental organizations to intervene for the survivors, and to help them to claim the material compensation. Jean Bosco Siboyintore, head of unit “prosecution of genocide abroad” near the prosecutor general, refers to organizations such as IBUKA, Haguruka and other non-profit, but with humanitarian mission.

While passing by, Jean Bosco indicates that his unit was created on July 14, 2007, with mission to ask the host countries of the genocidaires to extradite them or to judge them. Of the 980 cases reported in 30 countries, only 22 genocidaires were tried abroad, and 19 were extradited to Rwanda. For judgments, he recalls that Belgium has treated eight cases, including that of Ntuyahaga who has just served his sentences and return to the fold. Sweden in Treaty Three, including this one from Rukeratabaro who is on appeal. Other countries are like Holland (2), France (3), Canada (2); Not to mention Finland, Norway, Germany and Switzerland who had one, each.

With regard to extraditions, Siboyintore reports the 19 cases, including four from the US, three from Uganda, two from Canada and Denmark, and three from the ICTR. For this case of Rukeratabaro, only 16 out of 30 civil parties are entitled to compensation; an “insignificant number compared to the victims” according to IBUKA RUSIZI. In June 2018, the Stockholm court in Sweden convicted Mr Rukeratabaro with a life sentence. The case has been on appeal since October, and will be closed in March 2019.

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