Jessica Raper

Document Type



Since its rise to power in July of 1994, the Rwandan government has been committed to prosecuting all those accused of genocide. To prosecute the approximately 130,000 defendants, Rwanda has adopted a program called gacaca, based on Rwanda's traditional customary dispute resolution system. The gacaca law provides a reconciliation component that allows defendants to trade confessions of past genocide crimes for indemnification, as well as a prosecution component that holds the most serious offenders accountable in a Western style prosecution in a formal court of law. One of the main goals of gacaca is to end the so-called "culture of impunity" that has developed as a result of generations of cultural division between the Hutus and Tutsis.