Rwanda Injustice

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The Injustice of Partial Justice: the Impunity Gap in Rwanda
On the 6th of April in 1994, Rwanda stood at the outset of a genocide that, in three short months, would kill over half a million people. By July, roughly three-quarters of the entire Tutsi minority and thousands of moderate Hutu’s had been exterminated. In response, on the 8th of November, that same year, the Security Council established an international tribunal with the purpose to prosecute individuals responsible for “[g]enocide and other serious violations of international humanitarian law committed in the territory of Rwanda, or by Rwandans in neighboring countries, between the 1st of January 1994 and 31st of December 1994” (Goldstone & Smith, 2009 p.99). Since trials began
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Moreover, when Carla Del Ponte publicly criticized the Rwandan government for its lack of cooperation concerning the investigations on RPF crimes and promised to make its first arrests by the end of the year, the Rwandan government responded with the implementation of travel restrictions that prevented prosecution witnesses from going to Arusha to testify at the ICTR in genocide cases. This resulted in a significant delay of three ICTR trials due to lack of witnesses and forced Carla Del Ponte to drop all special investigations concerning the prosecution of the RPF. Carla Del Ponte was not allowed to pursue crimes committed by Tutsi against Hutu, and was removed from her role at the ICTR because her wanting to do so strongly jeopardized relations with Rwanda (Forsythe, 2012; Haskell & Waldorf, 2011). - Her replacement did not pursuit any more efforts concerning the jurisdiction of the…show more content…
“The raison d’être of international tribunals is the need to deliver justice for serious violations of international humanitarian law where national courts cannot deliver effective justice (Haskell & Waldorf, 2011 p.83).” Their legitimacy stems from the notion that international criminal courts are more impartial than national ones, governed by international law rather than domestic criminal law. However, the dependency of the ICTR on the cooperation of the Rwandan government proves how easy justice can be manipulated into serving the political interests of the targeted country. My primary concern is that the ICC is too dependent on national proceedings of the targeted states. As illustrated in the case of the ICTR, international tribunals may not want to endanger relations with state parties on whose cooperation jurisdiction depends. The ICTR has shown that, through cooperation, some justice can be served, but the quest for impartial criminal justice is yet to be fulfilled (Forsythe,

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