CHIEF PROSECUTOR OF RUBAVU DISTRICT INTERMEDIARY COURT ADDRESSING ULK GISENYI/CAMPUS COMMUNITY
On 7th May 2018, Lawyer KAYITARE Jean Baptiste, Chief Prosecutor of Rubavu District Intermediary Court made it to ULK/Gisenyi Campus to brief both students and staff on the crime of genocide.
To start with, he recalled the three genocides that have so far been recognized by the United Nations Security Council: The Jewish genocide, the Bosnian genocide and the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi. The Chief Prosecutor went on stating the criteria taken into account for a crime to be recognized as a crime of genocide.
To this, he referred to Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) defining genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part ; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”
Coming back to the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994, the Chief Prosecutor told the gathering that it is by the end of the year 1994 that the drastic killing committed to the Tutsi was recognized as a crime of genocide in the light of the prescriptions of Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Still there, he sorrowfully stated that some people deny the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi, by giving it other names; Rwandan genocide, war crime, and the like.
“It is a pity that there are still people who deny the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 by qualifying it as a crime of war and whatever. It is no wonder that such people are pretending not to know the truth. As a matter of fact, the genocide against the Tutsi was planned and executed by the then government, and the intent was to extinct the Tutsi”, he was quoted saying.
Pointing out some particularities pertaining to the genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994, the Chief Prosecutor made it clear how this genocide differs from the other two genocides mentioned above.
“The genocide perpetrated against the Tutsi in 1994 was unique and one of the kind in the sense that thousands and thousands of people were killed in a short period of time, Rwandans killed their fellow Rwandans, husbands killed their wives, babies and infants were not spared. Brief, atrocities were beyond measure”, he said.
To wrap up his talk, he called upon the gathering to take measures to ascertain the genocide will never happen in Rwanda again. As he put it, such measures include among others living a life free of genocide ideology and getting to know about the history of Rwanda.
The talk was brought to close by a word of gratitude by Mr. ISHEMA Pierre, ULK/Gisenyi Campus Coordinator. He enthusiastically thanked the presenter for his constructive briefings.